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Short Title

Housing Cost Burden and Maternal Stress

Abstract

As the affordable housing shortage proliferates, more American households struggle with high housing cost burdens. Grounded in Belsky’s (1984) parenting stress framework, we use a weighted low-income sample from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study of mothers who rent their homes (N=388) to investigate a relationship between housing cost burden, or paying a substantial portion of income toward housing, and higher rates of reported maternal stress. Findings of the linear regression indicate that younger mothers and those paying 30% or more of their income each month toward rent have higher reported maternal stress scores. These findings are discussed with attention to practice and policy implications.

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