Foster Caregivers' Marital and Coparenting Relationship Experiences: A Dyadic Perspective. By: Richardson, Evin W.; Futris, Ted G. Family Relations. Apr2019, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p185-196.

Objective: To explore the associations among foster caregiver husbands’ and wives’ parenting stress, couple relationship quality, and coparenting relationship quality. Background: Little empirical attention has been given to examining the relationship experiences of foster caregivers. The present study was designed to examine how parenting stress of foster caregivers is associated with husbands’ and wives’ perceptions of their marital and coparenting relationships. Method: Using an actor–partner interdependence model, we analyzed data from a sample of 96 heterosexually married couples who were active foster caregivers from three larger studies from a single state. Results: Both husbands’ and wives’ parenting stress were associated with their own and their partner’s perceptions of their marital and coparenting relationship, but marital relationship quality was only associated with their own coparenting relationship quality (i.e., actor effects). Husbands’ perceptions of the marital relationship mediated the relationship between both husbands’ and wives’ parenting stress and husbands’ coparenting relationship quality. Conclusion: Results suggest that foster caregiver husbands’ and wives’ parenting stresses have unique impacts on how they and their partner perceive their marital and coparenting relationships. Implications: Child welfare professionals who work with foster caregivers may provide resources and support to reduce the parenting stress caregivers experience, such as providing more access to respite services and healthy relationship and marriage education.