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J Pediatr Psychol. 2002 Oct-Nov;27(7):619-29.

Resilience among African American adolescent mothers: predictors of positive parenting in early infancy.

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  • 1University of Maryland Baltimore County, Maryland, USA.



To use Nath et al.'s (1991) conceptual model of adolescent parenting to examine the relationship between resiliency factors measured shortly after delivery and maternal parenting behavior at 6 months.


We recruited 181 first-time, adolescent African American mothers at delivery. Data on resiliency factors (maturity, self-esteem, and mother-grandmother relationships) were collected when infants were 1-4 weeks of age. Data on parental nurturance and parenting satisfaction were examined through observations and self-report at 6 months.


Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the longitudinal impact of resiliency factors on parental nurturance and parenting satisfaction. Maternal maturity, positive self-esteem, and positive adolescent mother-grandmother relationships (characterized by autonomy and mutuality) were associated with better parenting outcomes. Maternal parenting satisfaction was lowest when infants were temperamentally difficult and mothers and grandmothers had a confrontational relationship.


Longitudinal associations between mother-grandmother relationships at delivery and parental behavior and satisfaction 6 months later may suggest an intergenerational transmission of parenting style. Recommendations are provided for intervention programs to enhance mother-grandmother relationships in contexts where adolescents are required to live with a guardian to receive government assistance.

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