Previous studies on parenting stress highlighted its negative effects on parental well-being, parental practices and infant adjustment. The present work is part of the research line that examines factors associated with parenting stress; it is focalized on the parental characteristics and analyzes specifically two yet little studied aspects, alexithymia and self efficacy, to underline also possible differences between mothers and fathers. Participants were 126 couple of parents of infants (9-36 mounths). The subjects filled out the following self-report instruments: Parenting stress index - short form; Tas 20 - Toronto Alexithymia Scale; scales of self efficacy in regulating negative emotions and expressing positive emotions. Results suggest that parenting stress is positively correlated with alexithymia dimensions and is negatively correlated with emotional self efficacy, but with some differences between fathers and mothers: regression analysis highlights that for the former alexithymia is a risk factor and self efficacy in regulating negative emotions is a protective factor, while for the latter only self efficacy seems play a significant role and alexithymia doesn’t modulate the parenting stress levels in a considerable way.
Keywords: Parenting stress; self efficacy; alexithymia