Examining the Relationship between Social Support, Parenting Stress, and Depression in South Korean Single Mothers

Seung Min Song, Bokyung Park, Woon Kyung Lee, Nam Shim Park, Mi Na Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among social support, parenting stress, and depression in single mothers with young children in South Korea. This study also explores whether parenting stress plays a mediating role in the relationship between social support and depression. Self-report questionnaires were administered to 202 South Korean mothers who were raising young children on their own because of divorce, separation, death, or having never married, and three research variables were measured: social support, parenting stress, and depression. Data were analyzed using PROCESS macro version 3.4 to examine whether parenting stress mediated the relationship between social support and depression in these single mothers. The results of this study showed close correlations among social support, parenting stress, and depression in single mothers, and that parental distress and parent-child dysfunctional interaction among the subfactors of parenting stress played a mediating role in the relationship between social support and depression. Because the results of this study indicate that providing social support for single mothers can reduce their depression, significant attention must be paid to implementing policies to reduce single mothers’ parenting stress for their psychological well-being and their children’s development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1245
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Parenting stress
  • Single mothers
  • Social support
  • South Korean mothers

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