Pregnancy and childrearing
represents a source of stress for teen mothers.
Research indicates that the adolescent approach
their parenting role with additional problems
including depression. Parents’ depression
is associated with a negative impact on their
children’s emotional, behavioral, cognitive
and social well being (Billings & Moos,
1983). Investigators report the interaction
between a depress mother and her child is characterized
as insensitivity, unresponsive and hostile (Teti,
Gelfand, Messinger and Isabella, 1995). This
is a risk factor for the development of an insecure
attachment. An insecure attachment is a risk
factor for depression and stress in later life.
Adolescence is a time of transition
between childhood and adulthood. It is necessary
that parents and caretakers of adolescents be
familiar with the psychosocial, cognitive and
physical changes during this time. Research
with adolescent have identified common events
or situations related with stress; trouble with
classmates, trouble with parents or family members,
trouble with their couple, increased arguments
between parents and serious illness or injury
of family member. Adults should be aware on
how these risk factors affect the life of the
adolescent and should try to be sensitive with
the adolescents when the stress is imminent.
Adolescent pregnancy is a complex
problem that affects the complete family system
and represents a time of stress (Loyd, 2004).
Research has established that 25% of adolescents
have a second child after their first childbirth
(Jaskiewicz y Mc Anarney, 1994). Even when the
incidence of adolescent pregnancy has lowered,
the Center for Control of Infection and Disease,
(2003) indicate that the rates are still high.
Upchurch and Mc Carthy (1990) indicate that
adolescent pregnancy brings a variety of psychosocial
problems as dropping out of school, poverty,
divorce, single parenting and subsequent pregnancy
in some cases from successive partners. All
these situations are a source of stress during
a period in life that stress is part of normal
developmental processes and in the case of teen
pregnancy with different roles, which will include
now pregnancy and childrearing. Eister, Elizabeth
and Lamb (1983) indicate that during adolescence
the individual is developing their abstract
thinking skills, which will provide them the
capability to manage different complex situation
one of them, the sensitivity to respond to their
infant, they are developing their resources
to cope with stress. Parenthood becomes another
source of stress for the teenager.
Bowlby (1969) indicates the
importance of the parent response to their infant.
The style of attachment develops between the
infant and the caregiver will determine if the
child will be comfortable seeking comfort from
others, secure to explore his surroundings and
trust others. If the child develops an insecure
attachment, he will be more detached and will
not seek significant relationships with others.
Spieker and Bensley (1994) establish that if
the adolescent is unprepared to assume the parent
role and has poor parenting practice their infant
can develop an insecure attachment. Roberts,
Gotlib and Kassel (1996) indicate that an insecure
attachment is a risk factor for depression in
Researchers found that adolescent approach their
parenting role with additional problems including
depression (Deal and Holt, 1998). Parents’
depression is associated with a negative impact
on their children’s emotional, behavioral,
cognitive and social well being (Billings &
Moos, 1983). The interaction between a depress
mother and her child is characterized as insensitivity,
unresponsive and hostile (Teti, Gelfand, Messinger
and Isabella, 1995). Depressed parents are in
higher risk to relationship discord. Parental
discord is associated with behavioral and emotional
problems in children (Cummings & Davies,
1994). Feeling unprepared and depress for this
new role is a source of stress for the young
Research has established that
the elements of communication, interpersonal
process and relationship satisfaction between
the couples are link to the quality of parenting
(Cox & Paley, 1997). The family functioning
depends on communication between its members
and this element will determine the connectedness
of the nuclear family (Kirby, 2001). In a research
by Lloyd (2004) she identify that pregnant adolescent
perceive poor communication between them and
their parents prior and during their pregnancy.
As have been established by different researcher
and my own experience working with pregnant
adolescent there is an identifiable cycle that
can be identified.
family of origin (unsecured attachment)
Risk of depression
Impact on children
emotional well being
The challenge for the professional
working with a pregnant adolescent is how to
balance the maturational demands required to
be a competent parent and the development stage
do to normal human development where the adolescent
can be identified. Is it possible for the professional
to accelerate the normal developmental process
so that the adolescent can effectively respond
to the demands of being a parent? The professional
has to evaluate the stress related to this demand
by helping the adolescent do a smooth transition.
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of children of depressed and non-depressed parents:
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Deal, L.W. &
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