The current study aimed to analyze the effect of parenting-related exhaustion on the quality of the parent–child relationship and to explore the moderating role of partner parental support within this association.
The method was based on longitudinal data collection and a multi-informant design in which 157 mothers and 157 fathers completed questionnaires once a day during one week. Our statistical model used structural equation modeling.
Analyses revealed that parenting-related exhaustion had a negative impact on the quality of the parent–child relationship both for mothers (β = −0.17, p < 0.05) and fathers (β = −0.22, p < 0.05). Our results also provide evidence that partner parental support plays a role in compensating for deleterious consequences of parenting-related exhaustion among mothers as long as such exhaustion remains at a low level (β = −0.26, p < 0.05).
Our results provide support for ongoing research into this topic in relation to both mothers and fathers not only in clinically-referred families but also in ordinary ones, to allow preventive measures to be developed and implemented.