The Relationship Between Early Maltreatment and Teenage Parenthood.

Journal Name
Journal of Adolescence
Journal Volume
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Herrenkohl, E. C.
Herrenkohl, R. C.
Egolf, B. P.
Russo, M. J.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
In a longitudinal study of the effects of early childhood abuse, 92 adolescents who had become parents while under 20 years of age were compared to 297 adolescents who had not become parents during their teenage years. Three hypotheses are examined: that early childhood abuse and neglect are risk factors for subsequent adolescent pregnancy and parenthood; that low self-esteem is related to both early abuse and later adolescent parenthood and may mediate the relationship between them; and that adolescent parenthood is related to high school dropout and to other types of social deviance--specifically, assaultive behavior and substance abuse. Preschool and school age physical abuse alone and in combination with abuse were found to have significant relationships with adolescent parenthood. Low self-esteem, as evaluated by elementary school teachers, was related to both early abuse and adolescent parenthood. Sexual abuse, based on retrospective reports of the adolescents, had a significant but weaker relationship to adolescent parenthood. The implications of these findings that high school dropout, assaultive behavior, and drug abuse are also related to adolescent parenthood and discussed. Four figures; one table; 26 references. (Author abstract modified.)

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