"Stop the World So I Can Get off for a While": Sources of Daily Stress in the Lives of Low-Income Single Mothers of Young Children


This research examines daily stressors in the lives of 52 low-income single mothers of preschool-age children. Mothers recorded daily events that they perceived as stressful for a period of 2 weeks, and described how they attempted to cope with each episode. The majority of events that were recorded involved stressful interactions with children, particularly incidents of child misbehavior. Stressful exchanges involving other adults were also frequently recorded, as were financial stressors. The diary records reveal substantial inter- and intraindividual variability in coping strategies and in the types of barriers that mothers faced in attempting to implement these strategies. Thus, the diaries provide a useful means of examining sources of perceived stress in the daily lives of these women.



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Family Relations


National Council on Family Relations

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