Stress is a critical precipitant of depression and other symptoms of mental disorder, and it is especially a concern for single mothers, given their vulnerability to various stressors. Although there is emerging research interest in parenting stress issues, few studies have examined the association between neighborhood environment and maternal stress. Even fewer studies have examined the mechanism that contributes to this relationship. Using data from a national study, the current study investigates relationships among neighborhood disorder, perceived social capital, and maternal stress among a sample of single mothers. The study finds that neighborhood disorder is positively associated with single mothers' maternal stress, and this relationship is mediated by these mothers' perceived social capital in the neighborhood. The findings suggest the importance of considering responsive policies and strategies to buffer the detrimental effect of problematic neighborhood environments on single mothers' social capital, which should in turn decrease maternal stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology