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Title:Influences on Parenting and Child Outcomes Among School -Age Children of Adolescent Mothers
Author(s):Warren, Henriette Buur
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sarah Mangelsdorf
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:Extensive research on adolescent parenthood has found both children and their teenage mothers to be at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts who have children in early adulthood rather than adolescence. However, few studies have identified processes by which adolescent mothers' parenting affects the functioning of their children. The current study seeks to broaden what is known about the link between adolescent parenting and child outcomes. Specifically, we examine how individual differences in parenting, as well as various influences on parenting, affect child outcomes among 6--8 year old children of mothers who were adolescents when they had their first child. Ninety-eight African-American, low-income mothers and their first-born children participated in this study. Subjects had been participating in a longitudinal study of adolescent parenting since they became pregnant with their first child. Mothers filled out a series of questionnaires assessing their parenting, their children's functioning, and a number of other factors including economic strain, life stress, social support, mental health, and perceptions of their family-of-origin. A subset of 45 mothers and their children were videotaped interacting in a series of structured activities, and both parenting and child behavior was subsequently coded. In addition, teachers were contacted for information on the children's functioning in school. Results indicate that adolescent mothers within this urban, low-income population who were more supportive and engaging with their children, had children who displayed fewer behavior problems both at home and at school. In addition, many of the factors found to influence parenting in middle-class samples (maternal characteristics, contextual factors, and child characteristics) likewise influence parenting in the current population, but unlike research findings based on middle-class samples, child characteristics (rather than maternal characteristics) were found to exert the greatest influence on the parenting of these young mothers. In addition, parenting was found to serve as a mediator between maternal characteristics and child functioning; for example, the association between maternal depression and child behavior problems disappeared when the association between maternal depression and parenting was taken into account. These results highlight the importance of considering individual differences in adolescent parenting in predicting child outcomes.
Issue Date:2002
Description:213 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3044254
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2002

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