Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The romantic relationships of Latina adolescent mothers: Longitudinal effects of relationship satisfaction, social support, and relationship strain
by Castellanos, Patricia, Ph.D., Kent State University, 2013, 125; 3618906
Abstract (Summary)

The demands and challenges of early parenthood place adolescent mothers at high risk for developing adjustment difficulties. The current longitudinal study examined the types of relationships that Latina adolescent mothers have with their partners, based on the young mother's level of acculturation and enculturation. The study also examined positive (e.g., partner support, relationship satisfaction) and negative (e.g., relationship strain) aspects of romantic relationships that impact both relationship continuity and the adolescent mothers' psychological adjustment. One hundred and twenty five Latina adolescent mothers (M age=19.49 years; SD=1.34; of primarily Puerto Rican origin) who reported having a partner and their young children participated in this study at T1; one hundred and eight of these mothers returned for a second assessment 6 months later (T2). The majority of participants resided with their partners (70.4%) and approximately 42% of the young mothers were in relatively long-lasting (3 or more years) relationships with their partners. Around 19% of mothers were married, and marriage and co-residence with partner related to higher perceived instrumental support. Mothers' cultural orientation was related to characteristics of these relationships. Less acculturated mothers and mothers who were highly enculturated were more likely to be married and living with partners. The partners of more enculturated mothers were also more likely to be the child's biological father. Roughly 78% of participants who had a partner at T1 and returned for T2 reported the same partner at T2. Although a few demographic and relationship characteristics were related to continuity (e.g., co-residence and relationship with child's father, having Latino partners, and longer relationships), relationship satisfaction was the only unique predictor of continuity. In regard to associations with mother's psychological distress, non-tangible support, satisfaction, and strain at T1 related to distress at T2. However, strain was the only unique predictor of distress; satisfaction had a marginal effect. Importantly, the association between strain and distress was moderated by satisfaction, such that strain predicted more distress at low and medium levels of satisfaction, but not at higher levels of satisfaction. Results are discussed in light of Latino cultural values, developmental issues, and implications for intervention.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Grau, Josefina M.
Commitee: Anhalt, Karla, Grau, Josefina, Mickelson, Kristin, Wildman, Beth, Zaragoza, Maria
School: Kent State University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Womens studies, Latin American Studies, Individual & family studies, Social structure
Keywords: Adolescent mothers, Latina adolescent mothers, Latinas, Relationship satisfaction, Relationship strain, Social support
Publication Number: 3618906
ISBN: 9781303874550
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