Document Detail

Adolescent mothers: what factors relate to level of preventive health care sought for their infants?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7752039     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This exploratory study investigated the level of preventive health care services that adolescent mothers (ages 14 to 17) sought for their infants during the first 2 years of the infants' lives. Findings showed that mothers who maintained a relationship with their child's father or exhibited a high Powerful Others Locus of Control were more likely to practice better preventive health care. The role that social support and locus of control play in mediating parental stress is discussed. Implications for nurses working with adolescent mothers are presented.
Consistent with the trend in adolescent parenting research toward a focus on intragroup differences rather than comparisons of adolescent mothers with their older counterparts, this study developed psychosocial profiles associated with differing levels of infant care. Specifically, measures of perceived social support, health locus of control, and parenting stress were correlated with the preventive health care obtained for the infants of 49 teen mothers (ages 14-17 years) recruited from a US well-child clinic. 39 mothers were Black and 8 were Hispanic; all were public assistance recipients. The average maternal age at delivery was 15.5 years; the infants' ages ranged from 12 to 18 months at the time of the study. There was considerable variability in compliance with recommended clinic visits, and the number of missed appointments ranged from 0 to 10. 40% of infants received the recommended one-month visit and 67% received their first immunization on time; by 15 months, however, over a third of the infants were behind on their immunization schedule. Only 10% of the variance in health care compliance patterns was explained by the locus of control, stress, and social support variables. On the other hand, teen mothers who still maintained a relationship with the infant's father accessed significantly higher levels of preventive child health care. Also positively associated with preventive care was a high "powerful other" locus of control score. Parenting-related stress was inversely associated with perceived adequate support networks. Nurses who work with adolescent mothers are urged to facilitate the mobilization of internal and external resources required to adapt to the stress inherent in the role transition to parenting.
L E Kelly
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of pediatric nursing     Volume:  10     ISSN:  0882-5963     ISO Abbreviation:  J Pediatr Nurs     Publication Date:  1995 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-06-22     Completed Date:  1995-06-22     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8607529     Medline TA:  J Pediatr Nurs     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  105-13     Citation Subset:  IM; J; N    
School of Nursing, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Infant Care / psychology*
Maternal Age*
Mothers / psychology*
New England
Pediatric Nursing
Preventive Health Services / utilization*
Regression Analysis
Social Class

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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