A high parenting self-efficacy (PSE) has been associated with positive parenting and positive child development. However, there is limited and inconsistent information on factors associated with PSE.
To investigate factors associated with PSE in parents of children aged 0–7 years old, and to explore whether the associations were different between mothers and fathers.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline data from a prospective cohort study: the CIKEO study. A total of 1012 parents (mean age = 33.8, SD = 5.0) completed self-reported measure of PSE and 18 potential factors associated with PSE.
Multivariable models revealed that lower parenting stress, fewer child behavior problems, better eating behavior, better parental and child general health, a smaller number of children living in the household, higher perceived level of social support and having a migration background were associated with higher levels of PSE (p < 0.05). The association between family functioning and PSE differed between mothers and fathers (p for interaction = 0.003): with beta and 95% confidence interval being: 1.29 (− 2.05, 0.87), and 0.23 (− 0.46, 3.29), respectively.
A range of parental, child and social-contextual factors in relation to PSE were identified. The patterns of associations for most of the factors were similar among mothers and fathers. However, the association between family functioning and PSE might differ for mothers and fathers. Our findings are relevant for tailoring and implementing successful interventions and effective policy making in child care.
Netherlands National Trial Register number NL7342. Date of registration: 05-November-2018, retrospectively registered.