Given the need to explore causes and nature of parental stress in order to reduce the stress rate among parents who have children with separation anxiety, more evidence-based research is required in the field. Compared to other variables, parental stress and separation anxiety are relatively underresearched, without sufficient empirical ground. Respectively, the existing research projects merely focus on children’s vulnerability to stress depends on parenting styles (Zalta & Chambless, 2010; Hellemans, Sliwowska, Verma, & Weinberg, 2010) or on how to manage stress in children with separation anxiety disorder (Slattery, Grieve, Paletz, & Kalin, 2012; Kossovsky, Wilhelm, Roth, & Schneider, 2011). In this context, there is a paucity of empirical studies into how parents are affected by children with separation disorder and how parental stress is related to their children or any other factors.
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A thorough review of the pertinent scholarly sources published within the scope of the last 5 years, provides support for the theoretical research foundations of parental stress as a certain emotional experience that comes as a result of conflict between the resources that a parent possesses and the demands that are related to the role of a parent (Skreden, Skari, Malt, Pripp, Bjork, Faugli, & Emblem, 2012). Raposa, Hammen, & Brennan (2011), for instance, have found that not only children are affected by parents’ stress, but also parents are affected by the stress in their children. Further, the study by Fox, Warner, Lerner, Ludwig, Ryan, Colognori, Lucas, & Brotman (2012) investigated ways to reduce parental anxiety through managing the anxiety symptoms in their children. Besides, the study by Guajardo, Snyder, & Petersen investigated the impact on parental stress by levels of parents’ responsiveness to their children specific behavior outcomes that vary depending on mind and emotion development (Guajardo, Snyder, & Petersen, 2009). In addition, the differences between parental stress in mothers and fathers have been studied by Skreden, Skari, Malt, Pripp, Bjork, Faugli, & Emblem (2012), who also proved that higher educational background was positively correlated with increased stress in mothers and greater role restriction in fathers. Besides, the study by Broadhead, Chilton, and Crichton (2009) revealed the impact of demographic factors (age, region and attendance of Where Adults Get Support groups) on stress levels in parents of children with emotional and behavioral problems.
Thus, more research is needed into exploring the factors affecting parenting stress. Especially, more evidence-based studies are required into how children with anxiety disorder affect the stress levels in their parents.
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