Psychosocial Stressors of Drug-Abusing Disadvantaged Adolescent Mothers

By Scafidi, Frank A.; Field, Tiffany et al. | Adolescence, Spring 1997 | Go to article overview

Psychosocial Stressors of Drug-Abusing Disadvantaged Adolescent Mothers


Scafidi, Frank A., Field, Tiffany, Prodromidis, Margarita, Rahdert, Elizabeth, Adolescence


Adolescence is a time of physical, psychological, and social change and generally is considered a stressful period during normal development. Additional psychosocial stressors such as pregnancy may predispose some adolescents to poorer functioning (Ensminger, 1990). In fact, adolescent pregnancy has been associated with increased depression and lower self-esteem (Bolton, 1980), more disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds (Barnett, Papini, & Gbur, 1991), and poorer family communication (Lewis, 1978; Shah, Zelnik, & Kantner, 1975). The constellation of psychosocial problems facing the adolescent mother also places her at risk for illicit drug use. For example, disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds frequently are associated with increased drug use, and adolescent girls have been noted to self-medicare for depression. Peer and family systems also play an important role in the onset of drug use. For example, the strongest single predictor of current and future drug use is whether an adolescent's friends use drugs. Similarly, familial use and their attitudes toward drugs and alcohol are highly correlated with adolescent drug use. Adolescents living in dysfunctional family systems including poor family cohesion, negative communication patterns, unrealistic parental expectations, and parental disengagement are at increased risk for drug use (Andrews et al., 1991; Friedman & Utada, 1992; Swadi, 1992; Wills, Vacarro, & McNamara, 1992). Poor academic achievement, poor sense of competence, low self-concept, and nonconforming behaviors such as sexual activity and rebelliousness also have been associated with early drug use (Andrews et al., 1991).

Prevention and intervention programs for drug abuse could benefit from evaluations of potential psychosocial stressors in many aspects of the adolescent's life. Since poor mental health, dysfunctional family and peer relationships, poor social skills, low educational and vocational achievement, and inappropriate use of leisure time have been related to early drug use (Andrews et al., 1991; Swadi, 1992; Willis et al., 1992), it is important that these potentially problematic areas be evaluated.

The present study attempted to identify the psychosocial stressors associated with adolescent pregnancy and drug abuse. The sample consisted of economically disadvantaged adolescent mothers classified as drug abusing and nondrug abusing during pregnancy. The primary question was whether drug-abusing mothers experienced more psychosocial stressors than did the nondrug-abusing mothers from the same low socioeconomic background. A secondary question was whether there was a cluster of psychosocial stressors that differentiated the two groups of young mothers.

METHOD

Sample

The sample consisted of 104 adolescent mothers between 13 and 21 years of age (M = 18) who received their obstetrical care at a large inner-city university hospital. The young women were primarily single, African-American, and Hispanic, with a tenth grade education (see Table 1).

Table 1

BDI PBF and Sociodemographic Variables for Drug Abusing and
Non-Drug Abusing Adolescent Mothers

Variables                Drug-using     Non-drug-using
                          (N = 55)          (N = 49)
                         Mean (sd)         Mean (sd)        p

BDI                     14.0 (9.2)         6.0 (2.4)       .001
PBF                      6.8 (3.0)         5.8 (3.2)       .15
Age                     18.6 (1.9)        18.2 (2.1)       .31
Education               10.3 (1.6)        10.6 (1.5)       .29
Socioeconomic Status     4.4 (0.8)         4.4 (0.6)       .64

Measures

In order to identify adolescents who abused drugs during pregnancy the following measures were conducted:

Urine toxicology. A urine toxicology screen was conducted on all adolescent mothers upon admission to labor and delivery. Specific immunoassays (EMIT, Syva) were performed for cocaine metabolite (benzoylecgonine), opiates, and marijuana. …

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

Upgrade your membership to receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad‑free environment

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Psychosocial Stressors of Drug-Abusing Disadvantaged Adolescent Mothers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved in your active project from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Upgrade your membership to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.