Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Relationships between the Adequacy of Family Resources and Parenting Stress (Published)
Citation: Carl J. Dunst (2022) Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Relationships between the Adequacy of Family Resources and Parenting Stress, International Journal of Health and Psychology Research, Vol.10, No.1, pp.18-30
Abstract: The birth and rearing of a child with a developmental disability or chronic medical condition is often a stressful life event for parents. Family system theory includes the tenet that the presence of family strengths, resources, and supports can buffer parents and other primary caregivers from the adverse effects of stressful life events. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was the evaluate the relationships between the adequacy of family resources and three types of parenting stress (parental distress, difficult child-related stress, and dysfunctional parent-child interactions). Eleven studies including 14 independent samples of study participants met the inclusion criteria (N = 3030 parents and other primary caregivers). Ten studies were conducted in the United States and one study was conducted in South Africa between 1994 and 2018. The participants’ children had either identified disabilities (N = 8 samples) or medical diagnoses (N = 6 samples). Meta-Essentials was used to perform the systematic review and meta-analysis and included forest plot analysis, publication bias analysis, effect size aggregation, between type of parenting stress subscale comparisons, and moderator analysis. The adequacy of family resources was significantly related to less parental distress, less child-related stress, and less difficult parent-child interactional patterns. The directions of effect were the same in every study and every sample of study participants. The size of effect between the independent and dependent measures was larger for parental distress (r = -.48, 95% CI = -.51 to -.44, p < .001) compared to both child-related stress (r = -.31, 95% CI = -.42 to -.19, p < .001) and dysfunctional parent-child interactional patterns (r = -.24, 95% CI = -.29 to -.20, p < .001). There were no differences in the sizes of effect for parents of children with identified disabilities or medical diagnoses. The pattern of results is consistent with the hypothesis that the adequacy of family resources would lessen parenting stress related to the birth and rearing of a child with a developmental disability or chronic medical condition.
Meta-Analysis of the Relationships between the Adequacy of Family Resources and Parenting Beliefs and Practices (Published)
This meta-analysis includes an evaluation of the relationships between the adequacy of family resources and four parenting measures (beliefs, burden, engagement, and practices). Adequacy of family resources was hypothesized to be positively related to parenting beliefs, engagement, and practices and negatively related to parenting burden. Studies were eligible for inclusion if the Family Resource Scale was used to measure family resources, the total scale score was used to index the adequacy of family resources, one or more parenting belief or practices measures were used as outcome measures, and the correlations between the adequacy of family resources and the parenting measures were reported. Twenty-eight studies (including 30 independent samples of study participants) conducted between 1986 and 2019 met the inclusion criteria. The 30 samples included 5,247 study participants. Results showed that the adequacy of family resources was related to each of the four parenting measures as hypothesized and that child risk condition (children with or without identified disabilities or medical conditions and the number of items for computing a total family resource scale score moderated the strength of the relationships between family resources and parenting beliefs and practices. The findings are discussed in terms of the contributions to family systems theory and research. Several limitations of the meta-analysis are described.
Differential Relationships Between the Adequacy of Different Types of Family Resources and Psychological Health and Well-Being: A Meta-Analysis (Published)
This paper includes analyses of the relationships between the adequacy of three different types of family resources (basic resources, financial resources, time availability) and the psychological health and well-being of parents and other primary caregivers of children and adolescents birth to 18 years of age at-risk for poor outcomes. Meta-analysis was used to determine (a) the effect sizes between each type of family resource and psychological health and well-being, (b) the relative importance of each type of resource in explaining variations in psychological functioning, and (c) if the number of items used to measure each type of family resource moderated the relationships between family resources and psychological functioning. The study included 14 studies (N = 2,980 study participants) conducted in the United States between 1986 and 2018. Nine different scales were used to measure the study participants’ psychological health and well-being. All three types of family resources were significantly related to the study participants’ psychological functioning. The size of effect between time availability and health and well-being was larger than the sizes of effect between basic and financial resources and psychological functioning. The larger the number of items used to measure financial resources, the poorer the study participants’ health and well-being. In contrast, the larger the number of items used to measure time availability, the better was the study participants’ psychological functioning. The overall pattern of results is consistent with both family stress theories and family systems theories in terms of the importance of family resources as a determinant of healthy psychological functioning. Additionally, the different sets of analysis provided converging evidence about the relative importance of time availability as a family