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Adolescents' Pregnancy Intentions, Wantedness, and Regret: Cross-Lagged Relations With Mental Health and Harsh Parenting
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 1, pages 167–185, February 2012
How to Cite
East, P. L., Chien, N. C. and Barber, J. S. (2012), Adolescents' Pregnancy Intentions, Wantedness, and Regret: Cross-Lagged Relations With Mental Health and Harsh Parenting. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 167–185. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00885.x
Department of Sociology, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson St., Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248.
This article was edited by Deborah S. Carr.
- Issue published online: 11 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
- adolescent pregnancy;
- cross-lagged analysis;
- parenting stress;
- postpartum mental health;
- pregnancy intentions
The authors used cross-lagged analyses to examine the across-time influences on and consequences of adolescents' pregnancy intentions, wantedness, and regret. One hundred pregnant Latina adolescents were studied during pregnancy and at 6 and 12 months postpartum. The results revealed 4 main findings: (a) similar to what has been found in adult women, adolescents' lower prenatal pregnancy intendedness and wantedness predicted initial difficulties in parenting, (b) frequent depressive symptoms predicted subsequent lower pregnancy intendedness and wantedness, (c) adolescents' poor mental health and harsh parenting of their child predicted subsequent higher childbearing regret, and (d) high childbearing regret and parenting stress were reciprocally related across time. In addition, adolescents' wantedness of their pregnancy declined prenatally to postbirth, and strong pregnancy intendedness and wantedness were not concurrently related to adolescents' poor prenatal mental health. The findings reveal how adolescents' thoughts and feelings about their pregnancies are influenced by and predictive of their mental health and parenting experiences.