Adolescent mothers are at higher risk of experiencing parenting stress than adult mothers (Larson, 2004). Latina mothers are especially important to study given that Latino adolescent birthrates remain higher than those of other ethnic groups (Martin et al., 2010). One important factor that can affect the parenting adjustment of the mother is the availability of social support (Contreras et al., 1999). Support within the partner relationship is especially important to examine because Latina mothers are more likely than EA(de Anda & Becerra, 1984) and AA mothers (Wasserman et al., 1994) to be in a romantic relationship with a partner. Studies examining the relation between mother-partner relationship quality and parenting stress have found mixed findings. While some studies have found that adolescent mother-partner relationship quality (Moore & Florsheim, 2008) and partner involvement (Unger & Wandersman, 1988) is beneficial for parenting adjustment, others have found that partner involvement predicts increased parenting stress (Kalil et al., 2005) and less competent parenting behavior (Contreras, Mangelsdorf et al., 1999). Using a bivariate correlation, the current study will examine the relation between the quality of the adolescent mother-partner relationship (Relationship Assessment Scale; Hendrick, 1988) and mother’s parenting stress (Parenting Stress Index; Abidin, 1983) as reported by a sample of primarily Puerto Rican adolescent mothers. I expect that as mother-partner relationship quality improves, parenting stress will decrease. Findings will also present descriptive information about mothers and partners in this sample. This research on mother/partner relationships will be important for informing parenting interventions for Latina adolescent mothers.
Dr. Josefina Grau
Ms. Stephanie Silberman