Perceived stress of Jordanian parents: A comparative study between mothers and fathers

Rami Masa’Deh, Hala Bawadi, Ahmad Saifan, Mohannad AbuRuz


Objective: To investigate perceived stress levels of Jordanian parents and compare their levels of stress in form of couples. Background: Being a parent is a stressful experience for both parents. Gender and cultural background of the parent has an effect on stress perception. However, there is limited research in the Arabic countries on the differences between parents in their stress level from the cultural perspective.

Methods: The study is based on a sample of 528 couples that have healthy children in Jordan. Parents completed a demographic checklist and a perceived stress scale.

Results: There was a significant difference in stress levels between mothers and fathers, with mothers having significantly higher stress scores. The mean stress score for mothers was 17.94 (SD = 6.41) compared with 15.13 (SD = 7.12) for fathers, p < .001. The eta squared statistic = 0.16 indicated a large effect size. A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient showed that there was a positive correlation between maternal and paternal stress levels (r = 0.574, n = 528, p < .001).

Conclusions: The study concluded that parenting children is stressful for both parents; and that in couples parental stress levels correlated with each other. Implications for nursing: Investigating differences in stress between mothers and fathers in Jordan may be helpful when designing interventions to reduce stress and an individual parental support programme may be needed to buffer their stress.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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