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.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 80,000 children in Pakistan have not been immunized against polio
A total of 5,459 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record, according the World Health Organization
Plague, a bacterial disease, is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas.
Felix Baez Sarria, the first Cuban to contract the deadly disease, will be treated in a Geneva hospital.
No Ebola cases detected for two incubation periods, says World Health Organization
The World Health Organization and leading global health specialists have criticised Saudi Arabia for failing to properly investigate the causes of MERS.
UNICEF predicts that the number of children orphaned by Ebola – which currently stands at nearly 200 – will reach as many as 2,000
UN Article 82 could mean millions in additional costs for drilling companies.
The figures, through Nov. 16, represent a jump of 243 deaths and 732 cases since those issued last Friday, and cases continue to be under-reported, the WHO said in its latest update.
The infectious disease causes total paralysis in a matter of hours. It affects mainly children under five years of age.
The 30-year-old woman was from the province of Minya, south of Cairo. She died in a hospital in the southern city of Assiut
UNAIDS estimated that by June 2014 some 13.6 million people globally had access to antiretroviral medicines - a dramatic improvement on the 5 million who were getting treatment in 2010.
The H5N8 form of the virus has hit a Dutch chicken farm and a German turkey farm and is suspected - but not yet confirmed - as the strain that infected ducks on a British farm.
'Hidden childhood killer' drowning is among the ten leading causes of child and youth deaths, according to WHO's first global report on drowning.
More than 20 species of starfish, also called sea stars, from southern Alaska to Baja California are dying from a wasting disease
Japan has long maintained that most whale species are not endangered and that eating whale is a cherished part of its food culture