Guided by maternal role attainment and identity theory perspectives, the authors examined the association between prenatal and postbirth father involvement and maternal identity for adolescent mothers and the moderating effects of interparental relationship quality. Mailed surveys were completed by 125 mothers age 14-19 years (67.2% White) who were recruited from a statewide school-based program. Maternal identity was operationalized as a latent construct composed of three indicators representing role validation, role strain, and identity salience. Analyses revealed that prenatal father involvement was positively associated with fathers' postbirth engagement with their children and indirectly associated with maternal identity. The association between father involvement pre and post birth as well as the association between father-child involvement and maternal identity were moderated by the presence of a cooperative relationship between mothers and their child's father, consistent with a moderated mediation model. Implications for future research and practice are presented. (Author abstract)
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