Negotiating the transition from adolescence to motherhood: Coping with prenatal and parenting stress in teenage mothers in Mulago hospital, Uganda

Makerere University Medical School, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, P,O, Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.26). 02/2008; 8(1):83. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-83
Source: PubMed


Adolescence is a transitional stage from childhood to adulthood that is characterized by physical, physiological, psychosocial and behavioral changes that are influenced to a large extent by the age, culture and socialization of the individual. To explore what adolescent mothers perceive as their struggles during the period of transition from childhood to parenthood (through motherhood) and to describe strategies employed in coping with stress of pregnancy, motherhood and parenthood.
Longitudinal qualitative study involving twenty two in-depth interviews and six focus group discussions among pregnant adolescents who were followed from pregnant to delivery, from January 2004 to August 2005. Participant were selected by theoretical sampling and data was analyzed using grounded theory.
Overall, young adolescents reported more anxiety, loss of self esteem (when they conceived), difficulty in accessing financial, moral and material support from parents or partners and stigmatization by health workers when they sought care from health facilities. Three strategies by which adolescent mothers cope with parenting and pregnancy stress that were described as utilizing opportunities (thriving), accommodating the challenges (bargaining and surviving), or failure (despairing), and varied in the extent to which they enabled adolescents to cope with the stress.
Adolescents on the transition to motherhood have variable needs and aspirations and utilize different strategies to cope with the stress of pregnancy and parenthood.

Download full-text


Available from: Dan K Kaye,
1 Follower
22 Reads
  • Source
    • "This result may be due to the age of participants , who were mostly living with their own family in which adolescent's mother may play a more important role in providing support than the husband/partner (Devereux et al., 2009). Besides, the presence of the infant's father, among adolescent mothers, often increased the mother's distress, accounting for anxiety and depression (Divney et al., 2012; Kaye, 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study investigated the association between maternal depression and maternal–fetal attachment (MFA) and whether contextual variables such as social support and fathers’ presence moderated this association. Background: Adolescent pregnancy is associated with multiple risk factors that may compromise the relationship between mothers and their infants. However, this relationship starts during pregnancy, being affected by aspects such as social support and maternal depression. Method: Forty-nine adolescent mothers (Mage = 16.49 years; SD = 1.58) participated in the first wave of a longitudinal study which investigated social factors associated with parenting characteristics of Brazilian adolescent mothers; 65.3% reported they were cohabiting (married or living together) with the infant’s father. Results: Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that higher levels of social support were associated with greater MFA. Marital status was not significant. The association between maternal depression and MFA was significant for those participants who reported high levels of social support, but not for those participants who reported low levels of social support. Conclusion: Social support emerged as a key variable moderating the association between maternal depression and MFA. Contrary to expectations, maternal depression did not have a negative association with MFA, and further studies are needed to understand how social support promotes MFA, in the presence of other vulnerabilities, such as maternal depression.
    Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 06/2014; 32(4). DOI:10.1080/02646838.2014.910865 · 0.67 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this review was to examine the conceptualization and measurement of coping in adolescent research. A review of the literature published and abstracted in four scientific databases was undertaken between July 2008 and June 2009 with the following key words: adolescent(s), cope/coping, stress(ors), and adaptation/psychological. A total of 367 articles were initially identified, and review of published abstracts yielded 104 empirical articles to retrieve and examine more closely for inclusion. Criteria for inclusion in the review were that the study (a) measured coping, (b) presented original data, (c) primarily targeted adolescent participants, (d) was reported in English, and (e) was published between 1998 and June 2009. Fifty-nine subsequent articles were organized using a matrix approach that facilitated cross-study comparisons of purpose, sample, and dependent variables. Fewer than half of the studies reviewed included a specific statement defining coping. Instead, many authors described coping in the context of stress response by identifying particular types or ways of coping or naming specific coping strategies used. The theoretical frameworks guiding examination of coping varied across studies. A range of measures, congruent with adolescent developmental processes, were used to assess adolescent coping. A wide range of stress-related risks or conditions were examined, including psychological stressors such as eating disorders, suicidal ideation, and depression; physical stressors such as chronic illness, HIV infection, sports participation, violence, or sexual abuse; familial stressors such as domestic violence or interparental conflict; social stressors such as romantic relationships or difficulties in settings such as school, prison, or a homeless shelter; and societal stressors such as discrimination. Coping is an important construct in understanding how adolescents react to the extensive stressors and adjustments they experience. Coping is a complex construct yet worthy of examination because it can be a critical point of intervention in the health trajectory of adolescents and young people. Research is needed to advance the conceptualization and measurement of adolescent coping such that interpretation of findings across studies is enhanced. In this way, future research, including interventions targeting coping, will work synergistically to advance the science and adolescent well-being. Nursing and other healthcare providers working with adolescents understand the need for interventions that promote use of healthy coping strategies and minimize unhealthy coping. Findings from this study demonstrate the state of coping conceptualization and measurement in adolescent research and indicate a need for research that will advance the science and improve the usefulness of adolescent coping data.
    Journal of Nursing Scholarship 06/2010; 42(2):166-85. DOI:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2009.01327.x · 1.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: American Indian women often have poor perinatal outcomes and are at risk for early childbearing. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the experience and meaning of early childbearing among American Indian women. Methods: Employing interpretive phenomenology and a semistructured interview guide, we interviewed 30 adult American Indian women residing in a northwestern American Indian reservation about their experiences and meaning of early childbearing. Results: Three overarching themes were tied to their eventual positive evaluation of the experience: 1) mourning a lost childhood, 2) seeking fulfillment, and 3) embodying responsibility. Discussion: Women indicated that despite their tumultuous childhoods, early childbearing presented an opportunity to effect positive change in their lives. Women's health care providers are positioned to help women change their lives, thereby, improving health outcomes.
    Journal of midwifery & women's health 08/2012; 57(5):502-8. DOI:10.1111/j.1542-2011.2012.00165.x · 1.07 Impact Factor
Show more