Supportive Coparenting, Parenting Stress, Harsh Parenting, and Child Behavior Problems in Nonmarital Families

Jeong Kyun Choi, Emily H. Becher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Supportive coparenting is an identified protective factor for child development and behavioral outcomes. What is less known is how supportive coparenting dynamically links with other aspects of parenting and parent well-being, particularly in multi-stressed nonmarital families. This study used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, analyzed within a structural equation model, to explore how mothers’ experience of maternal depression, maternal age, father education, and SES interacted with their parenting stress and supportive coparenting to impact child behavioral problems and harsh parenting practices. Among the findings, more supportive coparenting was found to be significantly associated with fewer child behavioral problems and less harsh parenting. Transmitted through supportive coparenting and parenting stress acting as mediator, maternal depressive symptoms were indirectly and positively related to harsh parenting practices and child behavior problems. These findings are discussed within the context of the broader literature and next steps for research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-417
Number of pages14
JournalFamily process
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Family Process Institute


  • Coparenting
  • Ecological Model
  • Mothers
  • Multi-Stressed Families
  • Parenting
  • SEM


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