American Journal of Public Health
Objectives. Because of their youth, adolescent parents often lack the interpersonal skills necessary to manage the relationship challenges involved in parenting, leaving them and their children vulnerable to the health risks associated with relational stress and conflict. The primary goal of this study was to test the efficacy of the Young Parenthood Program (YPP), a 10-week counseling program administered during pregnancy and designed to facilitate interpersonal skill development and positive parenting among adolescent parents. Methods. Participants included 105 pregnant adolescents and their partners randomly assigned to YPP or treatment as usual. Assessments measured coparenting skills and parental functioning during the second trimester, 12 weeks after birth, and 18 months after birth. Results. Results indicated that fathers completing YPP demonstrated more positive parenting than did fathers in the control group. Moreover, the positive outcomes in paternal functioning were mediated through changes in the mother's interpersonal skill development. Conclusions. Results supported the efficacy of this couples-focused, coparenting support program, particularly for facilitating positive paternal engagement. These findings underscored the relevance of including fathers in the delivery of maternal-child public health services. (Author abstract)
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