The present study investigates the effects of perceived financial hardship (subjective) due to the economic crisis on parental behaviour, and the degree to which social support may work as a moderator of the relationship between perceived financial hardship and parental behaviour. The participants were 807 parents of children aged 6-12 years that attend Public Primary Schools in urban and non-urban areas of the region of Thessaly (141 males, 666 females), and the questionnaires were exclusively completed by the parents. The following research instruments were used: (a) a self-designed questionnaire measuring the degree to which the parents feel that the economic crisis has affected several parts of their life, for example their profession, their financial situation, their relationship with the other members of their family, (b) a self-designed questionnaire about parental behaviour, measuring the degree to which the parent is involved with their child in various areas, and (c) the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet , Dahlem, Zimet & Farley, 1998) measuring the perceptions of social support adequacy from three specific sources: family, friends and significant other. The findings showed that social support is negatively correlated with perceived financial hardship and positively correlated with parental behaviour, although the correlations are weak. In addition, a regression analysis revealed that both perceived financial hardship and social support are independent predictors of parental behaviour. The findings stress the importance of the development of primary health services which could provide psychological support to parents.
Eirini Papanikolaou, University of Thessaly, Greece
Jasmine-Olga Sarafidou, University of Thessaly, Greece
Maria Loumakou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
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