Published 11 January 2022
This research examines to what extent there are differences in parenting across income groups, and whether these differences are unique to low-income parents. When comparisons are made across all income groups, rather than focusing on parents in poverty, it is revealed that first, there are some positive differences in the parenting of low-income compared to middle-income mothers, and second, where there are negative differences these are not unique to low-income mothers, but part of a broader income-parenting pattern. Mothers’ mental health is an important mechanism in explaining the relationship between economic hardship and parenting, though it is more important for some parenting behaviours than others. These relationships are malleable: movements into/out of hardship are associated with worse/better maternal mental health.