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Herman-Stahl, Mindy A.; Ashley, Olivia Silber; Penne, Michael A.; Bauman, Karl E.; Weitzenkamp, David; Aldridge, Molly; & Gfroerer, Joseph C. (2007). Serious Psychological Distress among Parenting and Nonparenting Adults. American Journal of Public Health, 97(12), 2222-2229. PMCID: PMC2089107


Objectives: We compared the prevalence of serious psychological distress among parenting adults with the prevalence among nonparenting adults and the sociodemographic correlates of serious psychological distress between these 2 populations.
Methods: We drew data from 14 240 parenting adults and 19224 nonparenting adults who responded to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. We used logistic regression procedures in our analysis.
Results: An estimated 8.9% of parenting adults had serious psychological distress in the prior year compared with 12.0% of nonparenting adults of similar age. In both groups, the adjusted odds of having serious psychological distress were higher among adults who were women, younger, low income, or receiving Medicaid. We found some differences in the correlates of serious psychological distress between parenting adults and nonparenting adults. The odds of having serious psychological distress were lower among parenting adults after we controlled for demographic characteristics.
Conclusions: Serious psychological distress is fairly prevalent among parenting adults, and high-risk sociodemographic groups of parenting adults should be targeted to ensure access to coordination of services.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health


Herman-Stahl, Mindy A.
Ashley, Olivia Silber
Penne, Michael A.
Bauman, Karl E.
Weitzenkamp, David
Aldridge, Molly
Gfroerer, Joseph C.