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Family Context, Mexican-Origin Adolescent Mothers' Parenting Knowledge, and Children's Subsequent Developmental Outcomes

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  • This research was supported by funds from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD061376; PI: Umaña-Taylor), the Department of Health and Human Services (APRPA006011; PI: Umaña-Taylor), and the Cowden Fund and Challenged Child Project of the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. We thank the adolescents and female family members who participated in this study. We also thank Edna Alfaro, Mayra Bámaca, Diamond Bravo, Emily Cansler, Lluliana Flores, Melinda Gonzales-Backen, Elizabeth Harvey, Melissa Herzog, Sarah Killoren, Ethelyn Lara, Esther Ontiveros, Jacqueline Pflieger, and the undergraduate research assistants of the Supporting MAMI project for their contributions to the larger study. All coauthors are affiliated with the School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-3701.

Abstract

This study examined parenting knowledge among Mexican-origin adolescent mothers (= 191; Mage = 16.26 years), family contextual factors associated with adolescents' parenting knowledge, and toddlers' (Mage = 2.01 years) subsequent developmental outcomes. Data came from home interviews and direct child assessments. Adolescents both underestimated and overestimated children's developmental timing, and showed differences in their knowledge of specific developmental domains. Instrumental support from mother figures was positively linked to adolescents' knowledge accuracy, whereas emotional support was negatively related to adolescents' knowledge confidence. Furthermore, whereas mother figures' autonomy granting was positively linked to knowledge confidence, psychological control was associated with less accurate adolescent parenting knowledge. Toddlers of adolescents with more accurate knowledge showed positive developmental functioning. Intervention implications are discussed.

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