Ways parental health and stress shape the parenting of preteens in the rural Ozark Mountains. By: Oerther, Sarah and Papachrisanthou, Michelle M. 2024. Family Relations. Vol. 73 Issue 1, p171-192.

Objective: We explore how parental health and stress shape the rearing of preteen children in the rural Ozark Mountains. Background: Identifying concerns that impact preteen parents’ health and stress levels may facilitate understanding ways to promote resilience and happiness for families in underserved rural communities. Methods: Using an interpretive phenomenological approach grounded in Lazarus’s stress and coping paradigm, the current qualitative study used semistructured interviews with 20 Whiteparents in the rural area of the Ozark Mountains who had at least one child born between 2008–2011. Results: Study participants’ stories revealed that stressors related to parenting preteen children were rooted in stress from mental health or indirectly tied to social roles, such as occupational stress or financial constraints. Conclusion: Interventions and tools need to be developed that are specific to the culture of rural areas and that focus on families as an essential part of developing resilience and happiness andmitigating the adverse effects of stress. Implications: Interventions focused on families need to include diverse social factors that impact family resilience and happiness and include education to increase health literacy, family supports related to improving connections between parents and their preteen children, family tax credits to reduce hardships for parents, a tool for screening parents for stress, and expansion of telehealth opportunities.