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J Soc Serv Res. 1995;20(3-4):127-48.

The consequences of adolescent parenthood on men's depression, parental satisfaction, and fertility in adulthood.

Abstract

PIP:

This study examines some social and emotional consequences of fathering a child during adolescence in the US. Data are obtained from the 1987/88 US National Survey of Families and Households among 13,017 individuals aged 19 years and older and under age 19 if currently married. This study's sample included only men who reported fathering a child before their 30th birthday and were aged 18-40 years at the time of the interview. There were 227 men who fathered a child before the age of 20 years (Fathered as Teen--FAT) and 1032 men who fathered a child between their 20th and 30th birthday (Fathered as Adult--FAA). Outcome measures include depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D) and parental satisfaction. Control variables are race, age, number of children, and socioeconomic status. Fertility is a control and a dependent variable. The FAT group had a smaller percentage of marriages, a greater percentage of never married, and a greater percentage of second and third marriages. 32% of the FAT group and only 17% of the FAA group were Blacks. 57% of the FAT group and 72% of the FAA were Whites. The evidence from multiple regression analysis using ordinary least squares techniques supports the hypothesis that adolescent fathers, like adolescent mothers, experience similar long-term outcomes of greater depression and fertility compared to men who become parents "on-time" during their 20s. Limitations to the study are the lack of control for the degree of contact with first-born children, educational status, and standardized measures with group norms. The authors furthermore caution that the study sample may not be representative of men who fathered as adolescents and does not consider mediating factors such as social supports during adulthood. However, the finding that adolescent men and women are more subject to depression regardless of socioeconomic status, race, fertility, or age warrants appropriate intervention strategies.

PMID:
12291363
DOI:
10.1300/J079v20n03_07
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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