Determinants of Parental Burnout

Ivana Macuka, Ana Šimunić, Danijela Šimac

Abstract


Parental burnout is a syndrome characterised by exhaustion
in parenting as a result of permanent exposure to chronic
parental stress. This syndrome manifests in emotional
distancing from one's children with loss of pleasure and fulfilment in one's parental role and doubts about the ability
to be a good parent. The main goal was to examine the
contribution of sociodemographic variables (gender and age
of parents, education, work status and financial status of the
family), personal characteristics of parents (emotional
(in)stability and perfectionism in parenting), dimensions of
parental behaviour (parental support, permissiveness and
restrictive control) and personal characteristics of the target
child (gender, age, strengths and difficulties of the child) in
explaining parental burnout. A total of 490 parents (90%
mothers) participated in the research, with the average age
of 40 (M = 40,04; SD = 5,63). The results of HRA show that
the most significant predictors of parental burnout are
parental characteristics (higher emotional instability and
perfectionistic concerns), parental behaviour (low parental
support) and child characteristics (younger age of the child,
higher level of internalised and externalised problems). The
emotional (in)stability of parents is the most significant
predictor of parental burnout in the parental role.

Keywords


personality traits of parents; parental behaviour; modern parenting; parental burnout; child's strengths and difficulties

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