Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting: Findings from a Racially Diverse Sample

By Patricia L. East; Marianne E. Felice | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
Summary and Conclusions

In this book, we presented information on the pregnancy and parenting characteristics of a multiracial urban sample of young, poor adolescent women who reside in the U.S. southwest. Participants were studied prenatally to 3 ½ years postpartum. Five major areas were addressed: (a) prenatal and postnatal maternal and infant health; (b) predictors of repeat pregnancy by 18 months postpartum; (c) parenting traits; (d) the role of the teen's mother (the baby's grandmother) in the teen's parenting; and (e) characteristics of the fathers of the babies. One of the strengths of this study is the racial and ethnic diversity of the sample and whenever it was appropriate, we presented racial/ethnic differences or similarities.

We learned much from the young women who participated in this study and we appreciate the information that they and their partners and families shared with us. Some of the data presented are confirmatory of other data in the literature; other information is new. As much as possible, we compared our findings with existing studies, and suggested other areas of investigation for future research. In this final chapter, we summarize our findings and present implications for program development and policy directions. We hope that the knowledge gained from this San Diego experience will benefit future generations of adolescent mothers and their offspring.


SUMMARY OF TOPIC AREAS

Prenatal and Postnatal Outcomes

In general, the mothers and infants in this sample fared well, although even within the current sample one baby died at birth and one mother died due to complications contracted during delivery. Only 6% of the babies weighed less than 2,500 grams at birth and only 7% were delivered at 37 weeks gestation or less. Hispanic teens were more likely to be married and to have lower socioeconomic backgrounds than the

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