Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Education

Does Full-Day Kindergarten Reduce Parenting Daily Hassles?

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Education

Does Full-Day Kindergarten Reduce Parenting Daily Hassles?

Article excerpt

Introduction

Parenting Stress

Stress is considered a continuous interaction between a person and the environment (Lazarus, 1984). Parenting stress can result from the discrepancy between the demands of parenthood and the parent's personal resources (Ostberg, Hagekull, & Hagelin, 2007). In addition, parenting stress is thought to arise from parents' perception of their own competence in the parenting role, as well as their perception of their child's behaviour (Bloomfield & Kendall, 2012). Parenting difficulties contribute to parenting stress, and involve characteristics of the child, the parent, and the context (Bloomfield & Kendall, 2012). Parenting stress has been related to negative child, parent, and family aspects, such as insecure child attachment and parent psychopathology (Ostberg et al., 2007), and negatively influences both parenting behaviour and problem behaviours in children (Bloomfield & Kendall, 2012). Parents who report greater levels of parenting stress have been found to be more authoritarian in their parenting styles, more negative in their interactions with their children, and less involved in their children's lives (Crnic, Gaze, & Hoffman, 2005). Further, at least one study supports the idea that parenting stress may play a causal role in the emergence of problematic child behaviour (Crnic et al., 2005). For these reasons, it is important to explore possible factors that either reduce or increase parenting stress associated with raising young children.

Many factors influence parenting stress, such as extraneous environmental stressors, including lack of childcare or difficulty accessing services. Demographic variables such as low level of parent education, single parenthood, minority ethnic background, and economic hardship have all been linked to potential stressors in parents' lives (Ostberg & Hagekull, 2013). In addition, stressful major life stresses such as illness or parent or child psychopathology have an adverse effect on family functioning, parenting attitudes and behaviour, and aspects of children's functioning (Crnic & Greenberg, 1990). However, while major life events are well-established as stressors, they are often an infrequent occurrence (Crnic & Booth, 1991). Therefore, minor stressors or daily hassles are considered an important aspect of stress affecting families' daily living and are particularly prevalent among families of young children (Crnic & Booth, 1991). Pioneered by Crnic and Greenberg (1990), the model of parenting daily hassles was conceptualized within this minor event perspective that looks at potential everyday frustrations and irritations that accompany raising children.

Daily Hassles

In the past 30 years, a new stress perspective has developed, and with it a view of stress in which minor or everyday events or "hassles" contribute to overall levels of stress (Chamberlain & Zika, 1990). Lazarus (1984) initially proposed an alternative measure of stressors that focused on everyday events or hassles, conceptualized as "experiences and conditions of daily living that have been appraised as salient and harmful or threatening to the endorser's well-being" (p. 376). The "hassles" perspective views stress within a relational framework as a product of environmental events and appraisal of personal significance by the individuals involved. These minor events reflect the everyday concerns that are felt to be significant to an individual's well-being (Chamberlain & Zika, 1990). Hassles are considered to be irritating and frustrating demands that characterize interactions with the environment, including events such as losing keys, traffic jams, arguments, or family concerns (Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer, & Lazarus, 1981). Further, hassles can be infrequent and determined by the situation, or recurring because the demands remain consistent and predictable (Crnic & Greenberg, 1990).

Expanding on the "hassles" stress perspective, Crnic and Greenberg (1990) presented a model of parenting daily hassles in which parenting stress was conceptualized within a minor event perspective to address the everyday frustrations that accompany childrearing. …

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