Parenting sense of competence, as measured by the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSCS), is defined as one’s levels of satisfaction and self-efficacy experienced in the parenting role. Previous studies have identified significant associations among PSCS scores and a host of parenting characteristics predictive of child outcomes. Existing approaches to improving parenting sense of competence focus on developing parenting knowledge and skills; however, other modifiable contributing factors to parenting sense of competence may exist. We examined associations among fatigue, physical activity, and parenting sense of competence in a community sample of female primary caregivers of young children (N = 137) recruited from a university-based pediatric primary care clinic.
Participants completed measures of child disruptive behavior disorders, parent fatigue, and parent physical activity level. Parenting sense of competence was measured with the 16-item PSCS.
Participants’ mean age was 32 years (SD = 8 years), and most were non-Hispanic (87%) and White (70%). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed significant independent associations of fatigue (β = −0.19, p = 0.02) and physical activity level (β = 0.20 and β = 0.25, p < 0.05) with parenting sense of competence, controlling for child disruptive behaviors, child age, and socioeconomic status.
In this non-clinical sample of mothers of young children, the significant relationships among fatigue, physical activity level, and parenting sense of competence could suggest potential targets for preventive intervention.