Discussion Paper No. 09-02


Based on the Canadian Community and Health Survey (2000), this study examines the stress perceived by parents and non-parents across marital statuses, adjusting for for age, education, work, income, and sense of community belonging. Results show that fatherhood increases perceived stress in all marital statuses, particularly among singles. Motherhood does not affect perceived stress among married or cohabitating women but single and postmarried mothers endure appreciably higher levels of stress. Interactions between working and parental or marital statuses are also observed. The sense of community belonging appears as an important coping mechanism lowering stress levels. Results are discussed in the context of changing familial roles.