Research Reaction Paper

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Research Reaction
Psychosocial Development Based on Age of First Birth
Theories of Personality


Topic area:

Teenage pregnancy is one of the most common problems that are growing worldwide. This condition is most predominant in developed countries like the U.S. There are a number of factors responsible for teenage pregnancy. For example, higher rates of poverty, lower education levels, etc. This research reaction paper examines the psychological status; social relationships; and home, work, and parenting stress and satisfaction in their young adulthood for a sample of rural women who were teen mothers compared to their cohort who had their first child in their twenties. Service providers need to understand psychosocial outcomes of first childbirth in order to more effectively meet the physical and mental health needs of all young mothers.


There was one hypothesis in this article. Given the wide range of evidence illustrating negative consequences of teen motherhood, would be that early child bearers would suffer similar deficits in psychosocial domains. Yet, while a few studies have looked at psychosocial adjustment in pregnant and parenting adolescents, existing research has rarely been longitudinal so this hypothesis has not been well tested.


In order to perform this experiment, Data for this research were drawn from two studies: 1. The first, the Rural Adolescent Development Study (RAD), was a 5-year prospective longitudinal study of the antecedents of rural adolescent health and development starting in 1985.

2. The second study was a young adult follow-up of participants from the RAD Project, begun in 1997.

The follow-up, the Evaluation of Rural Outcomes of Sexuality (EROS), by adding an additional wave of data collection in young adulthood (1997), made it possible to examine a sample of rural females longitudinally from junior high school and continuing through their mid-twenties approximately 12 years later. The subject population for this particular study, selected from the larger EROS sample, was comprised of the 98 white females who had given birth to at least one child by the time of their interview for the follow-up study.

Results and Discussion:

The results of this longitudinal study suggests that the psychosocial status differences found between teen and young adult mothers appear to be the result of earlier psychological and social qualities, factors that preceded the pregnancy. While the study reported here reflects outcomes for young women of the 1990s, there is no reason at this point to question whether antecedent psychosocial status is not also relevant for present adolescent mothers. These outcome variables reflect individual psychosocial status variables. These conclusions help understand the long-term consequences of first childbirth for a sample of rural, disadvantaged white females. It is important to note; however, the small sample limits the statistics resulting in further work to track the psychosocial consequences of the timing of first childbirth in larger samples and past early adulthood to see whether the absence of differences in psychosocial outcomes is replicated. The investigators are hoping to assess these outcomes again and to determine whether these findings are similar for urban or suburban samples as well.


The purpose of this study was to explore the psychological status; social relationships; and home, work, and parenting stress and satisfaction in their young adulthood who were teen mothers compared to another group who had their first child in their twenties. The researchers chose the sample from a rural population because there is limited research on rural youth in general. The data for this research study were drawn from two studies. The first study took place over a period of 5 years. The second study took place approximately 12 years later.

The research used in...
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