Abstract and Keywords
Adolescent birthrates in the United States are much higher than those in other developed countries, and the majority of adolescents who become mothers come from impoverished backgrounds. Not surprisingly, they experience significant adjustment difficulties, and both their own and their children's developmental outcomes are often compromised. In this chapter, we review the adolescent parenting literature with the goal of uncovering the unique patterns of factors that may enable young mothers to parent successfully despite their disadvantaged conditions. We start with a description of the historic trends in birthrates and the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of adolescent mothers in the United States, to provide the context in which they are parenting their children. We then review the literature on factors related to their parenting behaviors and the developmental outcomes of their children, including individual, familial, sociodemographic and cultural risk and protective factors. Finally, we conclude and provide future directions for research in the field.
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