Becoming an Adolescent Father: Precursors and Parenting

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Abstract

Precursors and outcomes of adolescent pregnancy receive considerable research attention; however, most studies deal with adolescent mothers. This study examined whether risk factors that are precursors to adolescent fatherhood would be consistent with the family coercion model (G. R. Patterson, 1976) of the development of antisocial behavior in childhood. Hypotheses were tested in the Oregon Youth Study (OYS) sample of 206 at-risk boys who were first seen at 9 or 10 years of age. At 18–20 years of age, the profiles for the 35 adolescent fathers included more arrests and substance use than the other OYS participants. At around 2 years of age, 40% of the children had no contact with their fathers. The children, compared with a normative control sample, had somewhat greater health risks. The at-risk parents, compared with a control sample, were observed to show higher levels of negative reactions when their children were working on a puzzle task.

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