The intergenerational cycle of teenage motherhood: an ecological approach.
OBJECTIVE: Daughters of teenage mothers have increased risk for teenage childbearing, perpetuating intergenerational cycles. Using Ecological Systems Theory, this study prospectively examined risk factors for teenage childbearing among a national sample of adolescent girls. DESIGN: Data came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. Participants (N = 1,430) were recruited in early adolescence and interviewed yearly for 6 years. Survival analysis was used to examine the rate of childbirth across the teenage years by maternal age at first birth. Hierarchical Cox regression was used to identify multivariate predictors of teenage childbearing and to test whether risk factors differed between daughters of teenage versus older mothers. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Age at first childbirth was based on cumulative information collected at yearly interviews. RESULTS: Daughters of teenage mothers were 66% more likely to become teenage mothers, after accounting for other risks. Individual (school performance), family (maternal education, marital status, number of children), peer (dating history), and environmental (race, enrichment) factors predicted teenage childbearing. Risks unique to daughters of teenage mothers were deviant peer norms, low parental monitoring, Hispanic race, and poverty. CONCLUSION: Results support multidimensional approaches to pregnancy prevention, and targeted interventions addressing unique risk factors among daughters of teenage mothers.
Meade, CS; Kershaw, TS; Ickovics, JR
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