Maternal stress, housing cost burden, poverty


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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