Single mothers eager to lower their stress levels should spend more time reading and playing games with their children, according to a study released on Wednesday.
Researchers at Kansas State University found that although interacting more is seen to have a positive impact on the child, there is also a long-term benefit for the mother.
"The most important thing we found was the best way to reduce parenting stress, when parents feel overwhelmed, was to spend more time with their children," said Blake Berryhill, one of the researchers who conducted the study.
She added that being a single mother may bring extra stress, because of decreased economic resources, longer work hours and a limited support network.
Nearly 10 million single mothers were living with children younger than 18 in 2010, up from 3.4 million in 1970, according to U.S. Census figures, which also showed that about 39 percent of births in 2010 were to single, separated or divorced women.
Berryhill and her colleagues based their findings on national data related to single mothers. They also surveyed 2,370 single mothers, studied parental stress and engagement and child temperament at ages one, three and five.
The child's temperament was an important factor, the researchers said, because the more difficult children were when they were young, the less likely the mother would engage with them.
Temperament was also connected to stress because if the mother thought the child was difficult, her level of stress rose.
The study showed that single mothers who spent time engaging with their child at one year old were more likely to continue to engage with their child at age five.
"Being a single mother and being a parent in general is very exhausting, but if a mother is willing to spend time with her children, it can reduce her parental stress because she will feel that in her role as a mom, she is doing an adequate job," Berryhill added.
Travel across multiple time zones disrupts circadian rhythms resulting in jet lag
After five years the radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean are close to normal levels after a nuclear meltdown in the city
A trilateral pledge will see a jump from the current collective clean power levels of about 37% to 50% by 2025
Around 6.5 million deaths globally are attributed each year to poor air quality inside and outside, making it the world's fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking
New World Drug Report research identifies heroin as deadliest drug
Zika has caused alarm throughout the Americas since cases of the birth defect microcephaly were reported in Brazil, the country hardest hit by the outbreak
Philadelphia has become the first big city in the US to place a tax on soda to tackle the obesity crisis
Average global temperatures startlingly higher than normal between March-May
Government study provides strongest evidence of cell phone health effects
The reason for the high-level threat in the area is the presence there of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry the Zika virus that health authorities say causes birth defects in newborns
Three-day African Utility Week conference begins in South African city of Cape Town
More than two thousand activists came together to close an opencast coal mine in Germany.
New federal rules unveiled on Thursday will tackle the release of the greenhouse gas methane from oil wells and equipment as part of an effort to fight climate change.
At least five reef islands in the remote Solomon Islands have been lost completely to sea level rise and coastal erosion
Heads of UN, Work Bank lay out vision to deal with climate change