American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 39, Issue 1–2, pp 37–46

African American adolescent mothers and grandmothers: A multigenerational approach to parenting

  • Sarah E. Oberlander
  • Maureen M. Black
  • Raymond H. StarrJr.
Original Paper


This study is an adaptation and extension of Apfel and Seitz’s (Family Relations, 40(4), 421–429, 1991) models of adolescent parenting and adolescent-grandmother relationships to a sample of 148 African American, first-time adolescent mothers and their 6-month-old infants. The Parental Supplemental model, in which adolescent mothers and grandmothers shared caregiving, described 63% of Apfel and Seitz’s (1991) sample and 66% of the current sample. Shared caregiving was not associated with conflict in the adolescent mother–grandmother relationship. Adolescent mothers who had caregiving responsibilities and a supportive adolescent-grandmother relationship also reported competence in their parenting role. Findings provide support for Apfel and Seitz’s Parental Apprentice model, in which young mothers gain competence through direct caregiving experience in the context of a supportive relationship.


Adolescent mothers Parenting Mother–grandmother relationship African American 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah E. Oberlander
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maureen M. Black
    • 2
  • Raymond H. StarrJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MarylandBaltimore CountyUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Maryland, School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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