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Antecedents and Concomitants of Parenting Stress in Adolescent Mothers in Foster Care

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 30 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2006 Pages: 557-574
Karen S. Budd; Michelle J. A. Holdsworth; Kathy D. HoganBruen
Date Published
May 2006
18 pages
This study examined factors related to parenting stress among multiply disadvantaged mothers living in Illinois foster care settings.
Overall, the results revealed that parenting variables, and not personal adjustment variables, predicted later parenting stress among adolescent mothers in foster care. Current parenting stress was predicted by educational and social support variables, but not by number of child births. Mothers in the sample reported high levels of parenting stress overall; 35 percent of their stress scores were clinically significant. The findings have implications for child abuse prevention in that parenting stress has a hypothesized link to child abuse and neglect. Participants were 49 young women in the metropolitan Chicago area who participated in an earlier study of psychosocial functioning in adolescent mothers in foster care and were recruited through flyers, letters, face-to-face contact, and telephone calls. Mothers’ psychosocial functioning was assessed via standardized questionnaires, interviews, and observations of mother-child interactions. At followup, approximately 22 months later, mothers’ functioning was assessed via structured telephone interview. Assessment measures included the Parent Opinion Questionnaire, Child Abuse Potential Inventory, and the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised, among others. Data analysis techniques included the use of multiple regression analyses and t-tests. Future research should focus on measures of general and parenting-specific distress among adolescent mothers. Tables, references


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