Factors associated with parenting self-efficacy: A systematic review

Yuan Fang, Mirte Boelens, Dafna A. Windhorst, Hein Raat, Amy van Grieken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
114 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: To provide an overview of the parental, child, and socio-contextual factors related to general parenting self-efficacy (PSE) in the general population.

Design: Systematic review.

Data sources: Medline Ovid, Web of Science, Embase, and PsycINFO Ovid were systematically searched for studies published between January 1980-June 2020.

Review Methods: Studies were included if they described associations between factor(s) and PSE among parents of children aged 0–18 years old in the general population, and published in an English language peer-reviewed journal. Studies with participants from specific populations, studies describing the development of instruments for PSE, qualitative studies, reviews, theses, conference papers and book chapters were excluded. Belsky's process model of parenting guided the data synthesis. 

Results: Of 3,819 articles, 30 articles met the inclusion criteria. Eighty-nine factors were identified. There was evidence of associations between child temperament, maternal parenting satisfaction, parenting stress, maternal depression, household income, perceived social support and PSE. Evidence was inconsistent for an association of educational level, parity, number of children in the household and PSE in mothers. There was no evidence of an association for child gender, age, marital status and PSE in both mothers and fathers; ethnicity, age, employment status in mothers; household income in fathers; and educational level, parenting fatigue in parents.

Conclusion: A range of factors studied in relation to PSE was identified in this systematic review. However, the majority of the factors was reported by one or two studies often implementing a cross-sectional design.

Impact: There is some evidence for an association between some potentially modifiable factors and PSE in the general population, this information may be used by health and social professionals supporting child health and well-being. Future longitudinal studies are recommended to study parental, child and socio-contextual factors associated with PSE to inform the development of intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2641-2661
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number6
Early online date15 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Yuan Fang is supported by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) PhD Fellowship for her PhD study in Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The scholarship file number is 201806100213, CSC URL: [http://www.csc.edu.cn/]. We thank Wichor Bramer from the Erasmus MC Medical Library for developing search strategies for current study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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