Is the Relationship Between Marital Adjustment and Parenting Stress Mediated or Moderated by Parenting Alliance?

Elena Camisasca, Sarah Miragoli, Paola Di Blasio


The purpose of this study was to explore the mediating and moderating effects of parenting alliance on the relationship between marital adjustment, as represented by the dimensions dyadic consensus, dyadic satisfaction, dyadic cohesion, and affectional expression, and maternal and paternal stress. Self-report data were gathered from 236 Italian families (236 mothers: M = 40.9; SD = 4.4 and 236 fathers: M = 42.9; SD = 4.8) of children aged 6–11 years (M = 8.6; SD = 1.7). A set of regression analyses were conducted to examine whether parenting alliance mediates or moderates the relationship between marital adjustment and parenting stress. Regression analyses were consistent with a model of coparenting as a mediator but not as a moderator of the relationship between marital adjustment and parenting stress. In the case of mothers, parenting alliance mediates the relationships between two dimensions of marital adjustment (dyadic consensus and dyadic cohesion) on parenting stress; in the case of fathers, parenting alliance serves as a mediator of the relationship between the marital adjustment (in terms of dyadic satisfaction) and parenting stress. Implications for future research and interventions are discussed.


marital adjustment; parenting alliance; parenting stress; mediation; moderation

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