While lack of social support for adolescent mothers has been tied to parenting stress and postpartum depression, the types of support received by adolescent mothers from their mothers and the fathers of their babies (FOBs) and changes in this support over time have not been thoroughly characterized. We performed a secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial of 106 adolescents at an urban prenatal clinic between February 2007 and August 2008. Information on social support was collected at 20–24 weeks gestation, in the hospital after delivery, and at 6-weeks, 3-months, and 6-months postpartum using the Arizona Social Support Interview Schedule. We assessed the amount and types of support provided by mothers and FOBs, compared support between mothers and FOBs and assessed changes in support over time. The prevalence of support for adolescent mothers from their mothers and FOBs was similar, but FOBs provided more types of support compared with mothers at specific time points. Support from mothers peaked after delivery, whereas support from FOBs remained stable over time. FOBs provided more social-type support and intimate support than mothers did but were also frequently a source of social strain. Adolescent mothers’ FOBs and mothers have unique roles to play in their support networks. Understanding patterns of social support for adolescent mothers has the potential to inform future interventions to augment support for this vulnerable population, and, as a result, to influence maternal and early childhood health outcomes.
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N.R.K. abstracted data for secondary analysis, assisted with data analyses, and wrote sections of the paper. V.A. D. conducted data analyses and wrote sections of the paper. C.F.W., collected data for original study, assisted with logistics of this study, and collaborated on writing and editing of the final manuscript. M.G.P. was the principal investigator of original study and also provided material support for all aspects of this study, collaborated on study design and on writing and editing of the final manuscript.
The randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of the REACH intervention was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NCT00436150 / R34MH77588).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The protocol of the REACH study, whose data was used in this analysis, was in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board of Women and Infants Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All REACH participants formally consented to this study.
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.
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Kumar, N.R., Danilack, V.A., Ware, C.F. et al. Adolescent Mothers’ Relationships with their Mothers and their Babies’ Fathers during Pregnancy and Postpartum. J Child Fam Stud 27, 2862–2870 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1127-z