Parental Stress And Its Effects On Children Sample Assignment


Children are highly susceptible to the influence of external factors, such as the situation in the family and the emotional state of their parents. Stress is contraindicated in pregnant women because it could affect the development of an embryo and even lead to a miscarriage. The research question is concerned with how the stress of parents affects their children. The author of the present assignment ventures a hypothesis that stress per se does not affect children; instead, stress affects the way parents behave. This, in turn, negatively affects their children’s psychological stability and health. In the current paper, the author analyses literature dedicated to parents stress and children’s development and behavior and tests the previously mentioned hypothesis.

Literature Review

Being a parent is the great happiness and a challenge at the same time. Apart from personal issues and problems at work, parents have to make decisions on “effective parenting strategies, managing child behavior, financial responsibilities, health concerns, educational responsibilities, and scheduling conflicts” (Cappa, 2011, p. 334). Some parents are more successful in coping with these tasks than others, and, hence, they experience a smaller level of stress. According to Deater-Deckard (2008), parenting stress manifests itself through anxiety and emotional pain. Parenting stress is also caused by “financial stress, excessive use of phone, ideological differences, study, career, and conflicting values” (Suvidha, Gera, and Gangwar, 2021, p. 7027). There are numerous research papers that discuss the role of stress in the cognitive development, and mental and physical health of children. In the academic community, there is a consensus that the stress of parents is closely associated with psychological and physical problems of children.

The topic of the effects of parents stress on children is broad and could be divided into several parts. Therefore, the present literature review presents a discussion of articles on the effects of a mother’s stress on a fetus, and the effects of parents stress on infants, toddlers, and children from 5 to 12 years old. The part of the literature review is also dedicated to discussing how the stress of parents affects adolescents. The author of the present paper believes that it is essential to investigate the relationships between the behavior of parents and teenagers because this period heavily affects the process of becoming a person.

Effects of Stress During Pregnancy

It is common knowledge that the health status of a newborn directly relates to the nutrition, physical activity, illnesses, and emotional condition of the mother. That is why a high level of stress is one of the most dangerous factors. The study conducted by Van den Bergh et al. (2020) reveals that a high level of stress in pregnant women is the cause of disorders in the development of specific brain areas such as amygdalae and the prefrontal cortex. These parts of the brain are responsible for detecting stressful or potentially life-threatening situations and the expression of anxiety and fear. In addition to that, a mother’s stress negatively influences the stress and immune systems of her child (Van den Bergh et al., 2020). This study is based on the analysis of almost 100 academic articles on the effects of prenatal stress on offspring behavior published during the last ten years.

Aizer, Stroud, and Buka (2016) come to the same conclusions as Van den Bergh et al. (2020). Aizer et al. (2016) also add that frequent stay in stressful situations raises the hormone cortisol in a mother’s blood. This, in turn, increases the probability of not only cognitive, behavioral, educational, and health problems but also the weight and head circumference of a child (Aizer et al., 2016; Su et al., 2015). The results of Aizer et al. (2016) are based on the observation of almost 1000 pregnant women and their children, whereas Su et al. (2015) examine only 142 mothers and their babies. Nonetheless, the size of the sample does not mean that the results of the research are misleading. Finally, a mother should avoid stressful life events if she wants to protect her child from neuropsychiatric disorders, including seizures, palsies, attention deficit disorders, and headaches (Hantsoo et al., 2019). From the written above, it could be inferred that mood of a mother and the absence of stress, anxiety, and depression in her life during the gestation period plays a vital role in the proper development and health of a future child.

Effects of Parents Stress on Infants, Toddlers, and Children

The behavior and mental health of children from 1 to 4 years old depend on interaction with the parents and the emotional condition of the latter. Data provided by the prospective cohort study of Hattangadi et al. (2020), where 148 children were analyzed, reveals that mental health problems of 3-year-old children are provoked by stress experienced by “parenting stress during infancy” (p. 1). The stress of parents destroys the proper development of a child because “parents under stress are less likely to be engaged, more irritable and distant with their young children” (Hattangadi et al., 2020, p. 4). Neece et al. (2012) also conducted a range of cross-lagged panel analyses and discovered that 93 out of 237 observed children have behavioral issues caused by parenting stress. Neece et al. (2012) have the same explanation as Hattangadi et al. (2020) on why parenting stress is detrimental for children. More precisely, they argue that parents’ stress causes marital conflict and less effective parenting (Neece et al., 2012; Kersh et al., 2006; Coldwell, Pike, and Dunn, 2006).

Therefore, children, especially ones at a young age, are highly vulnerable, and their cognitive development and physical and mental health could be easily destroyed by unfavorable living conditions, including the stress of parents and quarrels. As Thompson (2014) puts it, violence and scarcity of resources in the world where a child was born to provoke neurobiological changes that might not only make a child vigilant and cautious. Such changes could also become a reason for his or her problems with controlling emotions, communicating with peers, and focusing attention (Thompson, 2014). From the perspective of family systems theory, interactions between parents and a child affect the emotional development of the latter (Frankel et al., 2015). Consequently, if parents cannot cope with stress and separate between work and family life, there is a high probability that they will harm their children.

The stress of parents affects not only the mental but also the physical health of children. Even though a significantly smaller number of scholars investigate relations between the stress of parents and children’s physical health, there are some convincing studies. Walton et al. (2014) gathered “cross-sectional data from 110 parent-child dyads participating in a community-based parenting intervention” (p. 1). This data reveals that children whose parents are highly stressed tend to have lower daily physical activity levels and spend more time watching TV than children whose parents are experiencing less stress (Walton et al., 2014).

However, whereas Walton et al. (2014) and Guilfoyle, Zeller, and Modi (2010) report that the stress of parents could not be regarded as a factor that leads to pediatric obesity, Frontini, Moreira, and Canavarro (2016) state that mothers of obese children are more stressed. Still, this contradiction resembles the egg and chicken dilemma because it is not clear whether a mother’s stress leads to the obesity of a child or vice versa. Nonetheless, an analysis of 223 couples of mothers and children conducted by Frontini et al. (2016) illustrates that parenting stress reduces the quality of life of children and leads to a more permissive parenting style. The same conclusion was made by the previously mentioned Guilfoyle et al. (2010). The analysis of “120 caregivers and their youth” enables Guilfoyle et al. (2010) to claim that even though parenting stress does not affect the body mass index, it predicts the quality of life-related to obesity. In other words, parenting stress affects children’s eating habits and physical activity which are the cornerstones of proper development.

Effects of Parents Stress on Adolescents

One might argue that adolescents are less vulnerable than children because their psyche has already formed. Nevertheless, the mental well-being of children could also be heavily affected by the quality of relationships with parents and caregivers that, in its turn, depends on the stress of the latter. Common sense suggests that it does not matter whether a child is 5 or 15 years old, attention to the parents, communication with them, and the absence of strong marital conflicts at home are indispensable components of a child’s psychological health.

The feelings of teenagers could be compared to bare wires. Adolescents tend to overreact, ignore the recommendations of adults, and share emotions with them. One of the derivatives of parents stress is marital conflicts, and children inadvertently suffer from them. Bambino (2015) and Suvidha et al. (2021) write that parent-child relationships are more adverse in families where adolescents frequently witness negative marital conflict. In addition to that, conflicts between parents contribute to the increased feeling of sadness and loneliness in adolescents (Bambino, 2015). What is more, after the observation of “108 families with 8-to 16-year-old children”, Cummings, Goeke-Morey, and Papp (2004) discovered that marital conflicts increase the probability of depression in teenagers (p. 191). From this, it could be inferred that parenting stress could still become a catalyst for problems among teenagers. Gordon and Hinshaw (2017) note that parenting stress raises the probability of a child’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the good news is that there are no statistically significant proofs that parenting stress increases the likelihood of a suicide attempt (Gordon and Hinshaw, 2017).

Talking about teenagers, it should be noted that sometimes their problem causes vast stress of parents, not vice versa. For example, adolescents that, for some reason, are prone to nonsuicidal self-injury contribute to the rise the stress on their parents because their injuries turn into the increased expenses on psychological counseling, medication, hospitalization, and fears for the well-being of a child (Fu et al., 2020). Furthermore, parents are ready to satisfy all the wants of a teenager if only it could help him or her to stop hurting themselves (Fu et al., 2020). Hence, this article presents a curious case because it shows that children might provoke parenting stress, and it is parents who significantly suffer from stress.

Undoubtedly, it is impossible to eradicate parenting stress completely. Nonetheless, it is essential not to ignore the challenging situation and fix it as soon as possible because it could help save a teenager’s emotional well-being. For this reason, Suvidha et al. (2021) recommend discussing the internal problems of a family with a specialist. Besides, it is effective to establish a tradition of spending some time with teenagers because it is crucial for them even though sometimes, they behave abominably.


The conducted literature review shows that there is consensus on how badly the stress of parents affects children in the academic community. At the same time, there are some topics on parenting stress that remain poorly covered. More precisely, it is interesting to know whether negative changes in the psychological health of a child caused by parenting stress are reversible or not. In other words, none of the studies considered above discusses what will happen if parents manage to decrease their daily stress or reduce the frequency of marital conflicts.

The second topic that remains understudied is how to reduce the level of parenting stress. Cappa (2011), Deater-Deckard (2008), and Suvidha et al. (2021) devote a lot of attention to the explanation of the causes of parenting stress but barely mention how to cope with it. It is fair to notice that Suvidha et al. (2021) write that families should resolve their conflicts because it is necessary for the emotional stability of children and family members. Nonetheless, there are no precise recommendations on how to decrease the level of stress and cope with parenting responsibilities more effectively.

The final point to be noticed is that it remains unclear why different fetuses, toddlers, children, and teenagers react to parenting stress differently. For example, Cummings et al. (2004) analyzed 108 families where parents report stress. However, Cummings et al. (2004) do not explain why some children suffer from parenting stress more stronger than others. This way, it is curious to know what factors affect the differences in children’s responses to the stress of parents, tense relationships between them, financial problems, and other unfavorable factors.


The conducted literature review answers the research question on how the stress of parents affects their children. Numerous articles, some of which are presented in the current paper, show that parenting stress is a cause of mental retardation, psychological and physical health problems, and difficulties with socialization. The information presented above proves that it is essentially important for the parents not to put their children into stressful life situations, to spend enough time with them, and prevent them from witnessing marital conflicts. Besides, the literature review proves the hypothesis ventured in the introduction that stress per se is not harmful; instead, the danger for children lies in the fact that parenting stress could make some adults more aggressive, irritable, depressed, or anxious. Based on the discussion section, the author believes that it is essential to broaden the research questions beyond the borders of the effects of stress on the health of children of different ages. Therefore, future research could target different reactions to parenting stress, effective ways of dealing with it or search for ways to reverse the negative effects of parenting stress.


Aizer, A., Stroud, L., & Buka, S. (2016). Maternal stress and child outcomes: Evidence from siblings. Journal of Human Resources, 51(3), 523-555. Web.

Bambino, S. (2015). Marital conflict and the developing adolescent. Applied Psychology Opus. Web.

Cappa, K. A., Begle, A. M., Conger, J. C., Dumas, J. E., & Conger, A. J. (2011). Bidirectional relationships between parenting stress and child coping competence: Findings from the PACE study. Journal of child and family studies, 20(3), 334-342. Web.

Coldwell, J., Pike, A., & Dunn, J. (2006). Household chaos–links with parenting and child behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(11), 1116-1122. Web.

Cummings, E. M., Goeke-Morey, M. C., & Papp, L. M. (2004). Everyday marital conflict and child aggression. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 32(2), 191-202. Web.

Deater-Deckard, K. (2008). Parenting stress. Yale University Press.

Frankel, L. A., Umemura, T., Jacobvitz, D., & Hazen, N. (2015). Marital conflict and parental responses to infant negative emotions: Relations with toddler emotional regulation. Infant Behavior and Development, 40, 73-83. Web.

Frontini, R., Moreira, H., & Canavarro, M. C. (2016). Parenting stress and quality of life in pediatric obesity: The mediating role of parenting styles. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25(3), 1011-1023. Web.

Fu, X., Yang, J., Liao, X., Lin, J., Peng, Y., Shen, Y.,… & Chen, R. (2020). Parents’ attitudes toward and experience of non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents: a qualitative study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 651. Web.

Gordon, C. T., & Hinshaw, S. P. (2017). Parenting stress as a mediator between childhood ADHD and early adult female outcomes. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 46(4), 588-599. Web.

Guilfoyle, S. M., Zeller, M. H., & Modi, A. C. (2010). Parenting stress impacts obesity-specific health-related quality of life in a pediatric obesity treatment-seeking sample. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics: JDBP, 31(1), 1-14. Web.

Hantsoo, L., Kornfield, S., Anguera, M. C., & Epperson, C. N. (2019). Inflammation: a proposed intermediary between maternal stress and offspring neuropsychiatric risk. Biological psychiatry, 85(2), 97-106. Web.

Hattangadi, N., Cost, K. T., Birken, C. S., Borkhoff, C. M., Maguire, J. L., Szatmari, P., & Charach, A. (2020). Parenting stress during infancy is a risk factor for mental health problems in 3-year-old children. BMC public health, 20(1), 1-7. Web.

Kersh, J., Hedvat, T. T., Hauser‐Cram, P., & Warfield, M. E. (2006). The contribution of marital quality to the well‐being of parents of children with developmental disabilities. Journal of intellectual disability research, 50(12), 883-893. Web.

Neece, C. L., Green, S. A., & Baker, B. L. (2012). Parenting stress and child behavior problems: A transactional relationship across time. American journal on intellectual and developmental disabilities, 117(1), 48-66. Web.

Su, Q., Zhang, H., Zhang, Y., Zhang, H., Ding, D., Zeng, J.,… & Li, H. (2015). Maternal stress in gestation: birth outcomes and stress-related hormone response of the neonates. Pediatrics & Neonatology, 56(6), 376-381. Web.

Suvidha, P. Y., Gera, D., & Gangwar, G. (2021). Parenting stress among parents of teenagers and effect of moderation. Psychology and Education Journal, 58(2), 7027-7032. Web.

Thompson, R. A. (2014). Stress and child development. The Future of Children, 24(1), 41-59.

Van den Bergh, B. R., van den Heuvel, M. I., Lahti, M., Braeken, M., de Rooij, S. R., Entringer, S.,… & Schwab, M. (2020). Prenatal developmental origins of behavior and mental health: The influence of maternal stress in pregnancy. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 117, 26-64. Web.

Walton, K., Simpson, J. R., Darlington, G., & Haines, J. (2014). Parenting stress: a cross-sectional analysis of associations with childhood obesity, physical activity, and TV viewing. BMC pediatrics, 14(1), 1-7. Web.

Pediatric Leukemia: Diagnosis And Treatment

Leukemia or, in other words, cancer of the blood and bone marrow is a disease connected to the abnormality of white blood cells. At the initial stage, it can be unnoticed by the patients since the condition implies the growing weakness of one’s body, which can be ascribed to other health issues (Bernard et al., 2017). In the course of the disease’s development, the immune system’s deficiency stemming from the specified dysfunction leads to the emergence of such problems as the inability to fight infections (Bernard et al., 2017). This symptom is easier to reveal, and, therefore, it marks the beginning of the treatment.

This condition is accompanied by other disruptions in the patient’s body, which add to the diagnosis. Thus, since leukemia is a disease characterized by weakness, it correlates with anemia, which is recognized by the general feeling of illness and fatigue due to the low levels of red blood cells (Bernard et al., 2017). It is also connected to thrombocytopenia since this issue implies easy bruising or bleeding because of a shortage of blood platelets (Bernard et al., 2017). The link between leukemia and neutropenia is in the latter’s role in causing the disease as it means the inability of white blood cells to fight infection (Bernard et al., 2017). Therefore, the consideration of these symptoms allows diagnosing leukemia at initial stages, when there are no other signs of the disease.

A child with leukemia, when diagnosed in the hospital setting, can have either a high or low white blood cell count. These lab results indicate that, in the first case, the patient has many cells which do not protect from infection, whereas in the second situation, the problem is bleeding and bruising due to a shortage of blood platelets (Bernard et al., 2017). They allow specialists to choose the proper treatment depending on the type of leukemia.


Bernard, S. C., Abdelsamad, E. H., Johnson, P. A., Chapman, D. L., & Parvathaneni, M. (2017). Pediatric leukemia: Diagnosis to treatment – A Review. Journal of Cancer Clinical Trials, 2 (2), 1-3. Web.

Permanent Pacemakers And Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump


Chronic heart diseases affects the structure and functionality of the heart and must be managed properly to ensure that a patients regains a normal health. The use of medical devices has been crucial in the management of chronic heart conditions and improvement of the functionality of the organ. Most of the medical devices used to treat heart diseases are placed within the human thorax part of the body. During the past few years, permanent pacemakers and intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) have become commonly used in decreasing the negative health effects of the signs and symptoms of and management of congestive heart failure and arrhythmias respectively.

Permanent Pacemakers

Congestive heart failure is one of the most common chronic heart diseases that is highly fatal in nature due to its signs and symptoms. The condition is mainly caused by the build-up of plaque within the arteries that supplies blood to the heart (Inamdar & Inamdar, 2016). Therefore, there is narrowing of the lumen of such arteries, which causes a decrease in the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart (Inamdar & Inamdar, 2016). Since there is a decrease in the supply of oxygen to the heart, congestive heart failure results into shortness of breath among patients (Inamdar & Inamdar, 2016). Furthermore, those suffering from the condition are likely to report feeling weak and fatigued as a result of decreased heart pumping activity (Inamdar & Inamdar, 2016). Since patients with congestive heart failure are weak and fatigued, they have a reduced exercise ability and may experience irregular heartbeats due to poor heart pumping activity (Inamdar & Inamdar, 2016). Therefore, such individuals may need to use permanent pacemakers to manage such signs and symptoms.

Using permanent pacemakers in the management of congestive heart failure is important due to the improvement of the ability of the patient’s heart to pump blood to vital body organs. A pacemaker is typically a small device that is placed on the patient’s chest (Carrión-Camacho et al., 2019). The device works by sending small electrical pulses to the patient’s heart, thereby stimulating it to regain its normal heart rate and rhythm (Carrión-Camacho et al., 2019). However, an effective management of congestive heart failure do not only depend on the placing of a permanent pacemaker on the patient’s body (Carrión-Camacho et al., 2019). A patient may have to take various medications, such as diuretics and beta-blockers, to properly manage the complication (Inamdar & Inamdar, 2016). Furthermore, a patient may have to engage in monitored physical activity and exercise since it decreases the build-up of plaque within arteries (Inamdar & Inamdar, 2016). Consequently, the application of such management strategies will lead to a reduction in the signs and symptoms of the complication.

Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP)

Changes in the structure of heart muscles can undoubtedly lead to fatal consequences and thus should be detected and managed properly. Arrhythmia has also become one of the most common heart diseases that mainly affects the elderly population (Masarone et al., 2017). By causing heart palpitations as a result of irregular heartbeats, the condition is associated with various signs and symptoms that can negatively impact the quality of life (Masarone et al., 2017). Arrhythmia not only leads to fatigue and weakness among patients but also causes dizziness and lightheadedness (Masarone et al., 2017). Due to the irregularities associated with the heart condition, arrhythmia may lead to chest pain (Masarone et al., 2017). In addition, the irregularities in heartbeats resulting from an insufficient flow of blood from and to the heart may cause a decrease in the supply of oxygen to vital body organs (Masarone et al., 2017). On that account, patients with arrhythmia may experience shortness of breath that may lead to fainting.

The use of IABP as a medical device to manage the signs and symptoms of arrhythmia mainly depends on the ability of such device to restore regular heart pumping activity of the patient (Özen et al., 2018). The device involves a catheter, which is a flexible tube attached to a long balloon (Özen et al., 2018). The balloon, which is also attached to a computer and a patient’s artery, ensures that there is an increased flow of blood within the artery, while the computer monitors the patient heart activity (Özen et al., 2018). By regulating the amount of blood flowing into the patient’s heart, an IABP can be used to decrease the signs and symptoms of arrhythmias (Özen et al., 2018). However, a patient may also use anti-arrhythmic drugs such tocainide and quinidine (Özen et al., 2018). Moreover, there might be a necessity to undertake a monitored physical activity and exercise regularly.


Both congestive heart failure and arrhythmia are fatal heart diseases requiring high management costs by health care systems since they decrease the functionality of the human heart. Therefore, they usually result into serious signs and symptoms such breath shortage, weakness and fatigue. It is essential to use various medical devices to properly manage the effects of the given conditions. The most common medical device used to manage congestive heart failure by medical practitioners is permanent pacemakers. On the other hand, the management of arrhythmia is mostly done by an IABP. By improving the flow of blood to and from the heart, such medical devices are effective in the treatment process.


Carrión-Camacho, M., Marín-León, I., Molina-Doñoro, J. M., & González-López, J. R. (2019). Safety of permanent pacemaker implantation: a prospective study. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(1), 35. Web.

Inamdar, A. A., & Inamdar, A. C. (2016). Heart failure: diagnosis, management and utilization. Journal of clinical medicine, 5(7), 62. Web.

Masarone, D., Limongelli, G., Rubino, M., Valente, F., Vastarella, R., Ammendola, E., Gravino, R., Verrengia, M., Salerno, G. & Pacileo, G. (2017). Management of arrhythmias in heart failure. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease, 4(1), 3. Web.

Özen, Y., Aksut, M., Cekmecelioglu, D., Dedemoglu, M., Altas, O., Sarikaya, S., Rabus, M.B. & Kirali, K. (2018). Intra-aortic balloon pump experience: A single center study comparing with and without sheath insertion. Journal of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Research, 10(3), 144 -148. 

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