Mothers’ parenting stress and neighborhood characteristics in early childhood (Ages 0–4)

Eun Jung Kim, Min Jung Cho, Mi Jeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neighborhood characteristics are important when raising children. Traditional approaches to parental stress research have focused on the impacts of daily hassles and how individual factors, such as children’s temperament, family resources, and social support from friends and family reduce or exacerbate parental stress. There have been few studies on neighborhood characteristics and parental stress, and even fewer studies have examined the association longitudinally. The goal of the present study was to explore the association between mothers’ parental stress and neighborhood characteristics longitudinally across early childhood (ages 0–4). Using the 2008–2012 Panel Study on Korean Children, we followed 1536 mothers. The results showed that mothers’ parenting stress was highest when children were aged two to three, and neighborhood characteristics had significant associations with parenting stress. The study indicated that mothers who reported that their neighborhoods had sufficient childcare facilities, were convenient to access public recreational and cultural facilities, and those who reported that their neighborhoods were good places to raise children, exhibited significantly lower levels of parenting stress. Further, the effects of neighborhoods on mothers’ parenting stress were greatest when children were aged one and four. Hence, such findings should be incorporated when designing and developing communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2648
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021 Mar 1


  • Early childhood
  • Mother’s parenting stress
  • Neighborhood characteristics


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