The relationship between teenage motherhood and behaviour problems in children: direct or mediated effects?


Stevenson, J., Berrington, A., Borgoni, R., Ingham, R. and ALSPAC Team, The (2004) The relationship between teenage motherhood and behaviour problems in children: direct or mediated effects?

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Description/Abstract

Background: Teenage mothers and their children are known to be at
increased risk of adverse social and psychological
outcomes.

Objective: To establish whether children born to teenage mothers have more problematic behaviour than other children. To use structural equation modelling to determine the role of antecedent risks and mediating factors of the impact of teenage motherhood on child behaviour.

Subjects and methods: Longitudinal data on the social background of mothers and on the behaviour of children in the ALSPAC study
were used from 293 children born to teenage mothers and 9646 to older mothers.

Results: Children of teenage mothers had higher behaviour
scores at 42 months (t = 5.52, d.f.= 303.8, p <.001). Teenage mothers were more likely to come from homes experiencing parental divorce or separation , to have been in care, to have low educational attainment and to have lived in social housing (OR = 4.15 to 2.07). These antecedent social risk factors were also significantly related to child behaviour but teenage motherhood remained a significant predictor of child behaviour (DR2 p<.001). Teenage mothers did not provide less adequate parenting care of their children. The effects of teenage motherhood on child behaviour were mediated via the social consequences and subsequent mothers mental state.

Conclusions: Teenage motherhood itself is a risk factor for behavioural difficulties in the child’s early years. This effect is not via
the quality of parenting provided but rather thought the increased risk these families have of social disadvantage and of poor maternal mental health consequent to teenage motherhood.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
ePrint ID: 35002
Date Deposited: 19 May 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:21
Contact Email Address: jsteven@soton.ac.uk
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35002

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