Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
Parent Regulation, Engagement, Stress, and Health (PRESH)

Parent Regulation, Engagement, Stress, and Health (PRESH)

Headshot of Erika Lunkenheimer
PI: Erika Lunkenheimer

NICHD R01HD097189
Administered in: College of the Liberal Arts


Parents need to discipline their preschoolers daily as they teach them how to act appropriately.  Sometimes this process is challenging and stressful for parents.  When managing children is particularly stressful, discipline may be less effective or may become harsh or harmful to children. Stressed parents may also have less time and energy to engage in their children’s lives in other positive ways, such as teaching them new skills or being involved in supportive programs.  Our interest is in understanding how parents regulate themselves while disciplining their children so that we may learn how to better support them.  We hope to use these findings to tailor interventions to reduce parental stress, and therefore open the door for parents to be more involved in their children’s lives in positive ways.

The PRESH project involves studying parents’ own experiences of being parented in childhood, their mental health, their beliefs about parenting, parenting stress, and their self-regulation.  We are especially interested in how these factors influence parent-child interaction patterns and parents’ disciplinary practices.  Understanding which factors are most influential in parenting situations will help us determine which factors should be prioritized when attempting to reduce parenting stress through intervention.  We are also interested in how parenting stress contributes to parental engagement in supportive programming for families.  The reduction of stress may allow parents to make better use of the supports that are already available to them. 

Additional Faculty:

Headshot of Sy-Miin Chow
Sy-Miin Chow Human Development and Family Studies Penn State
Headshot of Hannah Schreier
Hannah Schreier Biobehavioral Health Penn State
Headshot of Melissa Sturge-Apple
Melissa Sturge-Apple Psychology University of Rochester

Research Staff:

Headshot of Zainab Akef
Zainab Akef
Headshot of Jade Gomez
Jade Gomez
Headshot of Sandy Rosario
Sandy Rosario

Graduate Students:

Headshot of Kayla Brown
Kayla Brown Psychology
Headshot of Catherine Diercks Psychology
Catherine Diercks
Headshot of Madison Kelm
Madison Kelm Psychology
Headshot of Frances Lobo
Frances Lobo Psychology