Longitudinal Study of Social-environmental Predictors of Behavior: Children of Adolescent and Older Mothers Compared

Nicole Letourneau, Cara. B. Fedick, J. Douglas Willms, Miriam Stewart, Kelly White


Compared to older, more educated mothers, adolescent mothers are more prone to less than optimal parenting interactions with their children. Moreover, adolescents’ children are more likely to experience developmental challenges. In this study, effects of social-environmental factors in the first two years of life on children’s anxiety and hyperactivity from age 2 to 8 were examined by analyzing Canadian longitudinal data. Initial levels of anxiety and hyperactivity were higher for children of adolescent mothers, and anxiety increased with age for all children. Female children displayed lower initial levels of hyperactivity than males, and females of adolescent mothers showed a steeper decrease in hyperactivity while males of adolescent mothers showed a steeper increase in hyperactivity than their counterparts parented by older mothers. Parenting, social support and other demographic factors were controlled for and the effects of these predictor variables on trajectories of anxiety and hyperactivity are discussed.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25336/P66C92


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