Unpredicted Trajectories: The Relationship Between Race/Ethnicity, Pregnancy During Adolescence, and Young Women's Outcomes
ABSTRACT Adolescents who become pregnant in the United States are at higher risk for a myriad of health concerns. One would predict even more adverse health outcomes among pregnant adolescents who are from disadvantaged racial/ethnic groups; however, previous studies indirectly suggest the opposite. This study examines whether adolescents from racial/ethnic minority groups are less affected by adolescent pregnancy compared to white adolescents.
We used data from 1,867 adolescents participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1995-2001). Our predictor variable was self-reported race/ethnicity. Self-perception of health, educational attainment, and public assistance use in young adulthood were outcome measures. We conducted weighted multivariate logistic regressions and analyzed how adolescent pregnancy modified the relationship between our predictor and outcome variables.
Black and American Indian young women had significantly higher odds than white young women of receiving public assistance (OR, 2.6 and 2.7, respectively; p <.01) and even higher odds if ever pregnant in adolescence (OR, 4.2 and 19.0, respectively; p = .03). White young women had significantly lower odds of high educational attainment if they had a live birth in adolescence as compared to those who had not (OR, 0.1; CI = 0.1-0.4).
These findings support studies that found adolescent pregnancy increases the risk of public assistance use and low educational attainment. The study shows that, for educational attainment, black young women who become pregnant may not be as disadvantaged as their peers, whereas white young women who become pregnant are more disadvantaged.
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ABSTRACT: In the decade and a half since Coley and Chase-Lansdale's (1998) review of teenage childbearing, there have been a number of studies investigating teenage childbearing from a developmental psychological perspective. Many of these studies have focused primarily on identifying individual, familial, and socioeconomic risk factors in childhood and adolescence that are highly correlated with teenage sexual behavior and teenage childbearing. We have an emerging understanding of teenage childbearing as the culmination of a complex cascade of experiences and decisions that overlap greatly with the risks for antisocial behavior. Much of this research, however, is limited by its reliance on correlational and cross-sectional research designs, which are not able to rigorously test causal inferences or to identify mechanisms associated with teenage childbearing. Innovative studies using large, nationally representative samples with quasi-experimental and longitudinal designs can expand on such descriptive studies. In particular, quasi-experimental studies can help answer questions about which risk factors are causally associated with teenage childbearing and suggest potential mechanisms that can explain how teenage childbearing is associated with poor outcomes. Future studies also will need to incorporate more precise measures of developmental processes and explore heterogeneity among adolescent mothers. Although advances have been made in the psychological study of teenage childbearing, more research is needed in order to answer important questions about which psychological processes are causally related to teenage childbearing and how teenage childbearing is associated with poor outcomes for young mothers and their offspring,Advances in child development and behavior 06/2012; 42:113-52. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-394388-0.00004-6 · 0.95 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although pregnant adolescents are at high risk of poor birth outcomes, the majority of adolescents go on to have full-term, healthy babies. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7-12 in the United States who were surveyed from 1994-1995 through 2008, were used to examine the epidemiology of preterm birth and low birth weight within this population. Outcomes of pregnancies were reported by participants in the fourth wave of data collection (when participants were 24-32 years of age); data were compared between female participants who reported a first singleton livebirth at less than 20 years of age (n = 1,101) and those who were 20 years of age or older (n = 2,846). Multivariable modeling was used to model outcomes; predictors included demographic characteristics and maternal health and behavior. Among black adolescents, low parental educational levels and older age at pregnancy were associated with higher birth weight, whereas low parental educational levels and being on birth control when one got pregnant were associated with higher gestational age. In nonblack adolescents, lower body mass index was associated with lower birth weight, whereas being unmarried was associated with lower gestational age. Predictors of birth outcomes may differ by age group and social context.American journal of epidemiology 10/2012; 176 Suppl 7(Supp):S150-63. DOI:10.1093/aje/kws231 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Teen pregnancy and parenting remain an important public health issue in the United States and the world, and many children live with their adolescent parents alone or as part of an extended family. A significant proportion of teen parents reside with their family of origin, significantly affecting the multigenerational family structure. Repeated births to teen parents are also common. This clinical report updates a previous policy statement on care of the adolescent parent and their children and addresses medical and psychosocial risks specific to this population. Challenges unique to teen parents and their children are reviewed, along with suggestions for the pediatrician on models for intervention and care.PEDIATRICS 11/2012; 130(6). DOI:10.1542/peds.2012-2879 · 5.47 Impact Factor