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01-05-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2007

Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents: A Study of Ethnic Identity, Emotional and Behavioral Functioning, Child Characteristics, and Social Support

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2007
Auteurs:
Karin Sieger, Kimberly Renk
Belangrijke opmerkingen
This manuscript is based on the dissertation of the first author under the direction of the second author.
Karin Sieger earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Statistics from Boston University and earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Central Florida in 2004 after completing a predoctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at River Oak Center for infants in Sacramento, California. She most recently held a Psychology postdoctoral position at N.J. CARES (New Jersey Child Abuse Research, Education, and Service) Institute at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Her clinical interests include working with underserved young children and their families.
Kimberly Renk earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois in 1992; her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Illinois State University in 1994; and her Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida in 2000 after completing a predoctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. She is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. Kimberly Renk's current interests include parents’ perceptions of their children's emotional and behavioral functioning and parent-child interactions. She and her graduate students are pursuing actively the study of these topics as part of her Family P.A.I.R.S. (Perceptions and Interaction Research Studies) Psychology Laboratory and her Young Child and Family Research Clinic at the University of Central Florida.

Abstract

This study examined relationships among the ethnic identity, behavior problems, self-esteem, and social support of 166 ethnically diverse pregnant and parenting adolescents, the majority of whom were African American and Hispanic American, and their infants. Results indicated that pregnant and parenting adolescent females were experiencing nonclinical levels of behavior problems on average and did not differ in their ratings of the variables examined in this study. In addition, social support moderated the relationship between behavior problems and self-esteem for these adolescents. Further, social support mediated the relationship between ethnic identity and internalizing behavior problems as well as between ethnic identity and self-esteem. Finally, parenting adolescents rated their infants as experiencing “at risk” levels of difficulties. Although parenting adolescents’ experience of behavior problems and self-esteem was related significantly to their infants’ difficulties, none of the variables examined in this study predicted significantly parenting stress. These results suggested that interventions targeting social support may be helpful for improving the functioning of pregnant and parenting adolescents and their infants.

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