Adolescent Mothers' Self-Esteem and Role Identity and Their Relationship to Parenting Skills Knowledge

By Hurlbut, Nancy L.; Culp, Anne McDonald et al. | Adolescence, Fall 1997 | Go to article overview

Adolescent Mothers' Self-Esteem and Role Identity and Their Relationship to Parenting Skills Knowledge


Hurlbut, Nancy L., Culp, Anne McDonald, Jambunathan, Saigeetha, Butler, Patrice, Adolescence


Adolescence is a period of struggle to gain a positive role identity (Erikson, 1963; Gross, 1987; Rasmussen, 1964), stabilize self-concept, and enhance self-esteem (O'Malley & Bachman, 1983; McCarthy & Hoge, 1982). Even though adolescents experience many major social, emotional, physical, and cognitive changes, data indicate that this period is not characterized by psychosocial disturbances except possibly during early adolescence (12-13 years of age) (Demo & Savin-Williams, 1992). In Wylie's (1979) summary of the data on adolescent self-esteem, he noted no relationship between self-esteem and age, which supports the view that adolescence is not a time of major self-esteem disturbances. More recent studies offer further support in that findings show increases in self-esteem between the ages of 15 and 23 (O'Malley & Bachman, 1983; Nottelmann, 1987; Savin-Williams & Demo, 1984). The data suggest that the changes experienced during adolescence are a continuation rather than a disruption of development (Demo & Savin-Williams, 1992).

According to Erikson's theory, the primary developmental task of adolescents is to achieve a positive role identity (Erikson, 1963; Gross, 1987; Rasmussen, 1964). One essential factor in achieving a positive role identity is the understanding by adolescents of their present self in terms of their past developmental achievements, and uniting it with their future aspirations and expectations of competence (Shirk & Renouf, 1992). This sense of continuity between present, historic, and future self is a hallmark of resolving one's identity crisis. Another hallmark of an achieved identity is positive self-esteem (Gross, 1987). In order to resolve the identity crisis, adolescents need an opportunity to feel that they are persons of worth.

Once adolescents have a positive sense of worth and a basic sense of continuity of self, they are ready to move to succeeding psychosocial stages (Erikson, 1963). Adolescents then focus their psychosocial energy on intimacy formation - sharing themselves with another person while maintaining their own identity. Once basic identity and intimacy have been achieved, they enter the generativity stage of parenting (Erikson, 1963; Gross, 1987).

Following Erikson's theory, it was assumed here that positive self-esteem should be a predictor of positive parenting; that is, competent parenting requires that the mother has achieved a mature sense of psychosocial identity (Ketterlinus, Lamb, & Nitz, 1991). Thus, understanding how adolescent self-esteem relates to eventual parenting is necessary for delineating the predictors of positive parenting practices by adolescent mothers. It is important to underscore that this conclusion is based upon the assumption that developmental stages are more predictive of behavior than is age. However, it is recognized that age and developmental stages are correlated.

This study explores the question of how the adolescent mother's self-esteem relates to her knowledge of parenting skills. The literature review that follows summarizes the findings to date.

Adolescent Parenting

Parenthood for adolescents remains a serious concern. Adolescent mothers are more likely than their peers who did not become pregnant during adolescence to live below the poverty level, to be unemployed, and to hold lower-paying jobs if employed (Furstenberg, Brooks-Gunn, & Morgan, 1987; Brooks-Gunn & Chase-Lansdale, 1995; McLaughlin, Pearce, Manninen, & Winges, 1988). Data indicate that adolescent mothers as compared to adolescents who relinquish their babies for adoption have lower educational attainment, marry earlier, and have another child sooner (McLaughlin et al., 1988).

In 1991, 115 of every 1,000 adolescent females between the ages of 15 and 19 became pregnant (Ventura et al., 1995). Approximately 90% of African-American and 54% of Caucasian adolescent mothers remain unmarried (Furstenberg et al.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Adolescent Mothers' Self-Esteem and Role Identity and Their Relationship to Parenting Skills Knowledge
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.