dolescent Mothers: Support Needs, Resources, and upport-Education Interventions
- ICOLE L. LETOURNEAU
This paper compares the parenting characteristics of first- and second-time adolescent mothers. Using a case control design, immediately after delivery and at two months postpartum we administered a pretested questionnaire to 51 second-time adolescent mothers, 47 first-time adolescent mothers, and 25 second-time adult mothers. The questionnaire measured the subject's social support system, contraceptive use, and education level. Scales measuring stressful life events, knowledge of child development, and childrearing attitudes were included. The adolescent groups were similar except that significantly more second-time adolescent mothers dropped out of school (p less than or equal to 0.05). Greater maternal education and higher infant five-minute Apgar scores were associated with less negative childrearing attitudes immediately after the birth (p less than or equal to 0.05). At two months postpartum, the age of the father and the time he spent with the child were associated with positive childrearing attitudes (p less than or equal to 0.05). Increased paternal involvement and completion of high school may enhance adolescent attitudes toward childrearing and improve mother-child relations.