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J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2011 Dec;24(6):404-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2011.07.002.

Teenage pregnancy and the influence of paternal involvement on fetal outcomes.

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  • 1Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.



We sought to assess the impact of paternal involvement on adverse birth outcomes in teenage mothers.


Using vital records data, we generated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to assess the association between paternal involvement and fetal outcomes in 192,747 teenage mothers. Paternal involvement status was based on presence/absence of paternal first and/or last name on the birth certificate.


Data were obtained from vital records data from singleton births in Florida between 1998 and 2007.


The study population consisted of 192,747 teenage mothers ≤ 20 years old with live single births in the State of Florida.


Low birth weight, very low birth weight, preterm birth, very preterm birth, small for gestational age (SGA), neonatal death, post-neonatal death, and infant death.


Risks of SGA (OR = 1.06; 95% CI: 1.03-1.10), low birth weight (OR = 1.19; 95% CI: 1.15-1.23), very low birth weight (OR = 1.53; 95% CI: 1.41-1.67), preterm birth (OR = 1.21; 95% CI: 1.17-1.25), and very preterm birth (OR = 1.49; 95% CI: 1.38-1.62) were elevated for mothers in the father-absent group. When results were stratified by race, black teenagers in the father-absent group had the highest risks of adverse birth outcomes when compared to white teenagers in the father-involved group.


Lack of paternal involvement is a risk factor for adverse birth outcomes among teenage mothers; risks are most pronounced among African-American teenagers. Our findings suggest that increased paternal involvement can have a positive impact on birth outcomes for teenage mothers, which may be important for decreasing the racial disparities in infant morbidities. More studies assessing the impact of greater paternal involvement on birth outcomes are needed.

Copyright © 2011 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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