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Type and Source of Support as Predictors of Parenting Stress in Adolescent Mothers

Title: Type and Source of Support as Predictors of Parenting Stress in Adolescent Mothers.
Name(s): Mahler, Alicia L., author
Canto, Angel, professor directing dissertation
Randolph, Karen, university representative
Prevatt, Frances, committee member
Osborn, Debra, committee member
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Adolescents who become mothers during their teenage years are a population of concern due to the incidence and widespread impact of teenage motherhood across several areas of functioning. In particular, parenting stress has been suggested to be an issue that is often experienced by adolescent mothers, as well as an issue that may have a negative impact upon other areas (Chang & Fine, 2007; Larson, 2004). However, previous research has noted a relationship between general support provided to an adolescent mother and reduced parenting stress (Devereux, Weigel, Ballard-Reisch, Leigh, & Cahoon, 2009; Uno, Florsheim, & Uchino, 1998); Whitson, Martinez, Ayala, & Kaufman, 2011). Previous research has suggested that an adolescent's own mother, the father of her baby or her current partner, her friends, and her other family members are important and commonly received sources of support (Colletta, 1981; Devereux et al., 2009; Voight, Hans, & Bernstein, 1996). Similarly, emotional support, financial support, and infant caretaking support have been identified as important and commonly received types of support (Henly, 1997; Rhodes & Woods, 1995; Spieker & Bensley, 1994; Voight et al., 1996). However, previous research on sources and types of support has been inconsistent and has largely not addressed their relationship to parenting stress. The purpose of the current study was to address this gap in the literature by exploring the amount of Source and Type of Support Combinations received by adolescent mothers, as well as to identify which combinations of source and type of support are significantly related to reductions in parenting stress for adolescent mothers. To accomplish this purpose, the scale utilized in Devereux et al. (2009) was modified to create the Source and Type of Support Scale, used in this study to measure the amount of Support Source and Type Combinations received by adolescent mothers. Parenting Stress was measured with the use of the PSI-SF (Abidin, 1990). 136 adolescent mothers, defined as younger than 20 years of age with one or more children, were recruited both online and in person from schools, service programs, and agencies. The mean age of participants was 18.4 years old, with an average of 1.2 children. The majority of participants had successfully completed high school, were either married or in a dating relationship, and fell within the lowest brackets of household income. Descriptive statistics were calculated to determine the amount of Support Source and Type Combinations reported as received by adolescent mothers. Results showed that Emotional Support from all sources, as well as Financial Support and Caretaking Support from both Mothers and the Father of the Child or Current Partner were reported as the most often received support by adolescent mothers. In addition, a multiple regression analysis was utilized in order to explore the relationship of the Support Source and Type Combination variables in predicting Parenting Stress. The average Parenting Stress reported by adolescent mothers in this study fell at the 55th percentile. Four of the Support Source/Type Combinations (Emotional Support from Mother, Caretaking Support from Mother, Financial Support from Father of the Child or Partner, and Emotional Support from Other Family Members) were found to be significantly correlated with Parenting Stress and were included in in the multiple regression analysis, explaining 16.3% of the variance in Parenting Stress. In addition, increased Emotional Support from Other Family Members was found to significantly predict decreased Parenting Stress. While replication of the results with a sample more representative of the broader population of adolescent mothers is necessary, the identified relationship between Emotional Support from Other Family Members and Parenting Stress demonstrates the importance of providing this source/type of support combination to adolescent mothers. Future research may expand upon this finding with applications to providing services to adolescent mothers.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-9036 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2014.
Date of Defense: December 12, 2013.
Keywords: Adolescent Mothers, Parenting Stress, Support
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Angel Canto, Professor Directing Dissertation; Karen Randolph, University Representative; Frances Prevatt, Committee Member; Debra Osborn, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Educational psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Mahler, A. L. (2014). Type and Source of Support as Predictors of Parenting Stress in Adolescent Mothers. Retrieved from