Predictors and correlates of continuing involvement with the baby's father among adolescent mothers

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Predictors and correlates of a stable ongoing relationship with the baby's father among adolescent mothers were examined. A longitudinal study was conducted of 105 adolescent mothers and their infants over an 18- to 24-month period. Fathers were more likely to stay involved with the adolescent mother if the couple had an intimate and supportive relationship 6 weeks after delivery. They were less likely to stay involved if the young mother experienced a large number of stressful life events during pregnancy and in the first 6 weeks after delivery. Among adolescent mothers who remained in a stable relationship with the baby's biological father, higher scores were obtained on the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (B. M. Caldwell & R. H. Bradley, 1984), the young mothers were more likely to report continuous custody of their infants, and the infants' physicians were less likely to report infant injuries, accidents, or investigations of child abuse or neglect.