Article

Investigating the relationship between teenage childbearing and psychological distress using longitudinal evidence.

University of Colorado at Boulder, Institute of Behavioral Science, Boulder, CO 80309-0483, USA.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.72). 10/2009; 50(3):310-26. DOI: 10.1177/002214650905000305
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The high levels of depression among teenage mothers have received considerable research attention in smaller targeted samples, but a large-scale examination of the complex relationship between adolescent childbearing and psychological distress that explores bidirectional causality is needed. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study--Birth Cohort, we found that teenage mothers had higher levels of distress than their childless adolescent peers and adult mothers, but the experience of teenage childbearing did not appear to be the cause. Rather teenage mothers' distress levels were already higher than their peers before they became pregnant, and they remained higher after childbearing and into early and middle adulthood. We also found that distress did not increase the likelihood of adolescent childbearing except among poor teenagers. In this group, experiencing high levels of distress markedly increased the probability of becoming a teenage mother Among nonpoor teenage girls, the relationship between distress and subsequent teenage childbearing was spurious.

0 Followers
 · 
149 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research has documented social and developmental consequences for youth who experience an early pregnancy. Few studies, however, have examined predictors of teenage pregnancy other than participation in risky sexual behavior. The present study tests a social-contextual model predicting pregnancy among youth. Quality of parenting, affiliation with peers who engage in risky sexual behavior, and school engagement in early adolescence are examined as antecedents of pregnancy among youth. The model is tested using a using a prospective longitudinal design with a sample of 305 high-risk African American females. Results from structural equation modeling generally provide support for the model. Findings suggest that the association between quality of parenting and pregnancy among youth is mediated by affiliation with peers who engage in risky sex and risky sexual behaviors. Implications for education and intervention are discussed.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies 01/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10826-014-9925-4 · 1.42 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current study examined the longitudinal relations of socio-cultural stressors (i.e., acculturative stressors, enculturative stressors, ethnic discrimination) and Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' depressive symptoms and risk-taking behaviors. Utilizing an idiographic and nomothetic approach, we conducted lagged analyses to examine how individuals' fluctuations in stressors predicted subsequent adjustment. Further, we investigated potential threshold effects by examining if the impact of fluctuations in stressors differed at varying levels of stressors. Mexican-origin adolescent females (N = 184) participated in yearly in-home assessments across 5 years and reported on their experiences of acculturative and enculturative stressors, ethnic discrimination, depressive symptoms, and risk-taking behaviors. Findings revealed that within-person fluctuations in acculturative stressors and, to a lesser extent, perceived discrimination related to youths' depressive symptoms. For risk-taking behaviors, however, only within-person fluctuations in enculturative stressors emerged as significant. Further, a threshold effect emerged in the link between enculturative stressors and risk-taking behaviors, suggesting that fluctuations in enculturative stressors predicted changes in risk-taking behaviors at high levels of enculturative stressors but not low levels. Our findings highlight the differential relations between socio-cultural stressors and adolescent females' adjustment and suggest that prevention programs aimed at reducing depressive symptoms should attend to any degree of change in socio-cultural stressors, whereas programs focused on risk-taking behaviors should be especially attuned to levels of enculturative stress.
    Prevention Science 08/2014; 16(3). DOI:10.1007/s11121-014-0502-2 · 2.63 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Teenage pregnancy carries serious impacts on adolescent health. This study aimed to examine the effects of pregnancy on adolescents and to explore how they cope with the problems they faced during the pregnancy. It involved 26 adolescents residing in a government shelter home in Kuala Lumpur. A self-administered questionnaire containing a mixture of open-and closed-ended questions was used. Among physical (sleeping problem and self-care problem), psychological (emotional difficulties and low self-efficacy) and social (stigma and discrimination, financial difficulty, friendship problem and school dropout) problems, emotional difficulties were the most common problems, whereas stigma and discrimination was the least common. Young adolescents aged less than 16 years old were significantly associated with poor self-care (p=0.01). To cope with their problems, the adolescents generally used avoidance, withdrawal, and social support, particularly from parents and peers. Doctors were the least popular among all. In conclusion, holistic and individualised care is needed. Strategies to reduce emotional problem experienced by pregnant adolescents should be implemented. The available healthcare services for teenage pregnancy should also be promoted.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
22 Downloads
Available from
May 21, 2014