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Adolescence. 1993 Summer;28(110):361-82.

Children of adolescent mothers: are they at risk for abuse?

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Department of Applied Psychology, New York University, Brooklyn.


Adolescent mothers are typically depicted as inadequate parents. Their children are thought to be at significant risk for maltreatment. A review of the literature, however, reveals that a confluence of factors other than maternal age are implicated. Many studies make comparisons between teenage and older mothers without identifying the sample's socioeconomic group. The degree of risk to children of adolescent parents may well be determined by the financial, social, and emotional stresses these families face, with availability of resources which offer support and encouragement perhaps being the critical factor. The technique of "mapping" might be used to isolate these correlates. The authors suggest a reformulation of the question of adolescent parental ability, focusing on conditions under which adolescent parents may be at greater or lesser risk of maltreating their children. This approach could ultimately prove conducive to planning and implementing effective intervention programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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