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Friend Support and the Parenting of Latina Adolescent Mothers: The Moderating Role of Maternal Age

  • Stephanie G. Silberman
  • Josefina M. GrauEmail author
  • Patricia Castellanos
  • Petra A. Duran
  • Erin Smith
Original Paper
  • 7 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

This study examined the role of maternal age in the relation between social support from friends and parenting adjustment in a sample of young Latina mothers and their 18-month-old children (N = 168).

Methods

Hierarchical multiple regression analyses tested friend social support types (emotional, socializing, child care) as differential predictors of maternal behavior (sensitivity, cognitive growth-fostering, detachment) displayed during mother-child play interactions. To consider maternal development, the moderating role of maternal age on these associations was tested.

Results

The relations between friend emotional and child care support and parenting were moderated by maternal age. Emotional support was related to the use of more growth-fostering parenting behaviors for older (≥19.5 years), but not for younger Latina mothers. Child care support from friends was related to the display of more detachment and less cognitive growth-fostering behaviors among the younger (≤18.7 years) mothers only. Immigrant mothers reported significantly less overall friend support and emotional support than mothers born in the mainland U.S.

Conclusions

The findings emphasize the importance of assessing the types of friend support as separate measures in an ecological context that takes into account mothers’ generational and developmental level.

Keywords

Social support Parenting Adolescent mothers Latinas Maternal age 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research reported in this article was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01HD46554 to the second author. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. We thank the families who participated in the study, project staff and the students who worked on the project. This research was conducted in partial fulfilment of the first author’s M.A. degree at Kent State University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Albany Medical CenterAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesKent State UniversityKentUSA
  3. 3.Hennepin County Medical CenterMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.Texas Children’s HospitalHoustonUSA
  5. 5.Susquehanna UniversitySelinsgroveUSA

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