A Longitudinal Examination of Support, Self-Esteem, and Mexican-Origin Adolescent Mothers' Parenting Efficacy


T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287–3701 (adriana.umana-taylor@asu.edu).


Guided by a risk and resilience framework, this study used a prospective longitudinal, multiple-reporter design to examine how social support from a mother figure during pregnancy interacted with Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' self-esteem to inform their parenting efficacy when their children were 10 months old. Using reports of perceived social support by adolescent mothers (Mage = 16.24, SD = 0.99) and their mother figures (Mage = 40.84, SD = 7.04) in 205 dyads, and controlling for demographic factors (i.e., adolescent age, adolescent nativity, family income, mothers' educational attainment, adolescent – mother coresidence) and adolescents' social support from a significant other, the findings indicated that social support during pregnancy was positively associated with adolescent mothers' future parenting efficacy when adolescent mothers had relatively lower self-esteem. The findings were consistent for adolescents' and mothers' reports and emphasize the value of social support from a mother figure among adolescent mothers with lower self-esteem. Implications for interventions are presented.