This study will examine how developmental, family, cultural, and economic factors interact to inform the health and development of two groups of children who are disproportionately at risk for negative health outcomes: Mexican-origin adolescent mothers and their young children. Adolescent females of Mexican origin have the highest national birthrate, and it is over twice the overall national rate (National Vital Statistics Report, 2005). Because children of adolescent mothers are at increased risk for negative outcomes (Chandra, Schivello, Ravi, Weinstein, &Hook, 2002) and adolescent mothers'psychosocial functioning has been identified as a predictor of children's health and development (Carothers, Borkowski, Lefever, &Whitman, 2005), it is critical to examine the factors that inform adolescent mothers'psychosocial functioning, their parenting behaviors, and in turn, their children's health and development. We propose to build on our study of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers, their mothers or mother figures (referred to in our study as the female family member;FFM), and their infants, which involved data gathered from adolescents and FFMs during the adolescents'third trimester of pregnancy (Wave 1), and from adolescent mothers, FFMs, and infants when infants were 10 months of age (Wave 2) and again when infants were 24 months of age (Wave 3). We propose to collect three additional points of measurement from all three family members in the 206 families who participated in the original project (N = 618). This longitudinal, multi-generational study will capture cultural, family, and developmental processes and outcomes for a) adolescent mothers and FFMs over a five-year period beginning when adolescent mothers are in middle/late adolescence (i.e., 15-18 years of age) through emerging adulthood (20-23 years of age), and b) their young children from infancy (i.e., 10 months) through early childhood (i.e., 5 yrs of age).
Specific aims are to examine (1) the linkages between trajectories of two normative developmental processes (i.e., ethnic identity, autonomy) and trajectories of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers'psychosocial functioning (e.g., depressive symptoms) from middle/late adolescence through emerging adulthood, and to identify family, peer, and cultural characteristics that moderate these associations;(2) how family (i.e., mother-adolescent conflict), economic (i.e., economic hardship), and cultural (i.e., acculturative stress and discrimination) stressors are linked to adolescent mothers'trajectories of psychosocial functioning, and to investigate the family, peer, and cultural characteristics that moderate these associations;and (3) how trajectories of adolescent mothers'psychosocial functioning predict their parenting behaviors and, in turn, trajectories of their children's health and development; we also will test family, peer, and cultural characteristics that moderate these associations. A focus on Mexican- origin children is critical because Latinos (of which Mexican-origin are a majority) are repeatedly identified as an at-risk population for negative health and behavioral outcomes and, in fact, show substantial risk for maladjustment in almost all leading health indicators identified by Healthy People 2010 (CDC, 2008).
Latinos show greater risk for maladjustment in almost all of the leading health indicators identified by Healthy People 2010 (CDC, 2008) and bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability in the U.S. (CDC, 2004a). Furthermore, Mexican-origin adolescent females lead the nation in rates of teen pregnancy (with rates over twice the national average;National Vital Statistics Report, 2005). This research will contribute significantly to understanding how to promote positive health and development among Mexican-origin adolescent mothers and their young children, which is in line with the Surgeon General's call to address health disparities among Latinos and other ethnic minorities (U.S. Surgeon General, 2008).
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|Toomey, Russell B; Umana-Taylor, Adriana J; Jahromi, Laudan B et al. (2013) Measuring Social Support from Mother-Figures in the Transition from Pregnancy to Parenthood among Mexican-Origin Adolescent Mothers. Hisp J Behav Sci 35:194-212|
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|Updegraff, Kimberly A; Perez-Brena, Norma J; Umana-Taylor, Adriana J et al. (2013) Mothers' trajectories of depressive symptoms across Mexican-origin adolescent daughters' transition to parenthood. J Fam Psychol 27:376-86|
|Toomey, Russell B; Umana-Taylor, Adriana J; Updegraff, Kimberly A et al. (2013) Ethnic identity development and ethnic discrimination: examining longitudinal associations with adjustment for Mexican-origin adolescent mothers. J Adolesc 36:825-33|