A comparison of depression, stress and self-image between younger and older adolescent mothers Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4b29b8824

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  • Adolescent pregnancy is a major social problem which results in negative psychological, medical, developmental, economic and educational consequences for both mother and child. A review of the literature examined psychological and sociocultural factors and negative consequences associated with adolescent pregnancy. There has been little research on age specific differences between adolescent mothers. The purpose of this study was to determine whether significant differences in depression (Ho1), self-image (Ho2) and parenting stress (Ho3) existed between younger and older adolescent mothers. Thirty three adolescent mothers between the ages of 15 and 21 participated in the study. An Analysis of variance was used to determine whether significant differences existed and correlation coefficients were also calculated. Significant differences in depression, self-image and parenting stress were found and all three hypotheses were rejected. Mid-adolescent mothers were significantly less depressed than mothers in the other age groups. Younger mothers felt less competent and less able to cope than older mothers. They experienced parenting as more stressful and were less attached to their children. Younger mothers also reported the lowest levels of emotional health and were most at risk for developing psychological problems. In contrast, older mothers were more competent but felt more tied down, isolated and dissatisfied with their social relationships than younger mothers. Depression and stress were correlated with isolation, poor health and poor family relationships. The results of this study point to the need to screen adolescent mothers for emotional and psychological problems, especially depression and stress, and to provide appropriate counseling services to address these needs. Furthermore, since the needs of adolescent mothers vary according to their age and stage of development, programs that serve adolescent mothers should be tailored to meet the specific developmental needs of each age group.
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