Adolescent and adult low-income mothers: How do needs and resources differ?



This study examined the living situations and self-perceived needs and resources of 2,121 low-income teen and adult mothers. African American and teen mothers were more likely to coreside with grandparental figure(s) than other ethnicities and older mothers. European American mothers and adult mothers were more likely to be living with a partner. While controlling for living situation and ethnicity, teen mothers indicated greater resources than adult mothers in three of four resource areas. Mothers who coresided perceived themselves as having greater basic needs and money resources than mothers in other living situations. Teen mothers perceive their resources positively, perhaps indicating that the support they receive, regardless of their coresidence situation, may be sheltering them from realities that low-income adult mothers must face. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 35: 1037–1052, 2007.