Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 2901–2909 | Cite as

Fatigue and Physical Activity: Potential Modifiable Contributors to Parenting Sense of Competence

  • Christina R. StudtsEmail author
  • Meagan R. Pilar
  • Julie A. Jacobs
  • Brigid K. Fitzgerald
Original Paper



Parenting sense of competence, as measured by the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSCS), is defined as one’s levels of satisfaction and self-efficacy experienced in the parenting role. Previous studies have identified significant associations among PSCS scores and a host of parenting characteristics predictive of child outcomes. Existing approaches to improving parenting sense of competence focus on developing parenting knowledge and skills; however, other modifiable contributing factors to parenting sense of competence may exist. We examined associations among fatigue, physical activity, and parenting sense of competence in a community sample of female primary caregivers of young children (N = 137) recruited from a university-based pediatric primary care clinic.


Participants completed measures of child disruptive behavior disorders, parent fatigue, and parent physical activity level. Parenting sense of competence was measured with the 16-item PSCS.


Participants’ mean age was 32 years (SD = 8 years), and most were non-Hispanic (87%) and White (70%). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed significant independent associations of fatigue (β = −0.19, p = 0.02) and physical activity level (β = 0.20 and β = 0.25, p < 0.05) with parenting sense of competence, controlling for child disruptive behaviors, child age, and socioeconomic status.


In this non-clinical sample of mothers of young children, the significant relationships among fatigue, physical activity level, and parenting sense of competence could suggest potential targets for preventive intervention.


Parenting Parenting sense of competence Fatigue Physical activity Preschoolers 



This manuscript was completed with the support of an award (8KL2TR000116, CRS) from the University of Kentucky CTSA (UL1TR000117), supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and with the support of an award (no number, CRS) from the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health (1P20GM103644), supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The authors wish to thank Dr Rhya Strifling and the physicians, staff, and patients of the University of Kentucky Department of Pediatrics. The authors also acknowledge the invaluable data collection assistance of Britteny Howell, Sonja Rich, Madison Liford, Sofiana Hoffman, and Robin Thompson.

Authors Contributions

C.R.S. designed and executed the study, analyzed the data, and completed writing and editing of the final manuscript. M.R.P. assisted with data analyses and wrote the initial manuscript draft. J.A.J. collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. B.K.F. collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics Statement

The research involved human subjects. The protocol was approved by the University of Kentucky IRB.

Informed Consent Statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina R. Studts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Meagan R. Pilar
    • 2
  • Julie A. Jacobs
    • 2
  • Brigid K. Fitzgerald
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health, Behavior & SocietyUniversity of Kentucky College of Public HealthLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health, Behavior & SocietyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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