A comparison of mother-child interaction between adolescent and adult mothers of preschoolers
Dr. Ratchneewan Ross, RN, PhD, FAAN
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Two main purposes of this study were: (a) to compare the mother-child interactions between adolescent and adult mothers; and (b) to examine the changes of adolescent mothers' mother-child interactions over time. Forty-three pairs of adolescent and adult mothers who could be matched on family structure, maternal race, and child's gestational status were drawn from a larger study of maternal employment and low birth weight infant outcomes. Analysis was done using t-tests and simultaneous multiple regression. Results showed that adolescent mothers did not perceive more stressful attachment to their preschoolers, but were less responsive, than adult mothers. However, when controlling for other confounding factors, the difference of maternal responsivity disappeared which indicated that mother-child interaction was not associated with maternal age per se. Rather, child temperament, total number of children at home, total family income, family structure, and maternal race predicted the quality of mother-child interaction. More specifically, at T1, total family income was related to maternal responsivity. Mothers from higher-income families were more responsive than those from lower-income families. At T2, child temperament and total number of children at home were related to maternal responsivity. Mothers of more children and mothers of children with more difficult temperament were less responsive than mothers of fewer children and mothers of children with less difficult temperament. For maternal attachment at T1, child temperament and maternal race were significant predictors of such attachment. Difficult child temperament was related to stressful attachment perceived by the mother. African-American and Hispanic mothers perceived more stressful attachment to their preschoolers than Caucasian mothers. At T2, child temperament and family structure were associated with maternal attachment. Mothers from single-parent families perceived more stressful attachment to their children than mothers from two-parent families. No change was found in maternal responsivity over time among these adolescent mothers. However, stressful attachment of the adolescent mothers to their preschoolers increased from T1 to T2. No independent variables were found to be associated with a change in maternal attachment scores.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9960939; ProQuest document ID: 304564535. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|None: Degree-based Submission
|Parenting as an Adolescent;
|Mothers--Psychosocial Factors--In Adulthood;
Adolescent Mothers--Psychosocial Factors;
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