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Title:Adolescent Mexican Mothers: Within-Group Variations in Socioemotional Well-Being and Social Support
Author(s):Barajas, Norma Hilda
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Jenny Singleton
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Hispanic American Studies
Abstract:Although Mexican descent adolescents have the highest pregnancy rates in the nation, little scholarly research has focused on the social and cultural factors related to socioemotional well-being. The present study examines three areas concerning Mexican descent adolescent mothers: (a) sociodemographics and culture (i.e., US acculturation and Mexican enculturation), (b) grandmother (i.e., the mother of the focal adolescent mother) and partner (i.e., the biological father of adolescents' babies) support, and (c) socioemotional well-being. Fifty Mexican descent adolescent mothers were audio-taped during an interview that employed the AMAS-ZABB measure of acculturation, the PANAS measure of affect, the SWLS measure of life satisfaction, and the SSNQ measure of social support. Findings indicated that adolescent mothers who co-resided with their own parents were higher on US acculturation than adolescent mothers who did not co-reside with their parents. Findings also revealed that married adolescent mothers were higher on Mexican enculturation than unmarried adolescents. Additionally, most mothers perceived support from grandmothers and partners, thus indicating that for most adolescent mothers the two main support sources were available to them. Two separate standard regression analyses were conducted to determine the explanatory influence of various aspects of sociodemographic and cultural factors on positive affect and life satisfaction. The results indicated that US acculturation, satisfaction with grandmother support, and school enrollment significantly contributed to explaining differences in adolescent mothers' positive affect. Language preference was the only significant explanatory factor of life satisfaction. That is, adolescent mothers who preferred English reported higher life satisfaction than adolescent mothers who preferred speaking Spanish. Living arrangements, marital status, birthplace, partner support, and Mexican enculturation did not contribute to explaining adolescent mothers' positive affect or life satisfaction. None of the variables examined in this study were significant explanatory factors of adolescent mothers' negative affect. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Issue Date:2006
Description:135 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242789
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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