Risk and protective factors to adolescent fatherhood


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Risk and protective factors to adolescent fatherhood

  1. 1. Article number: 0001850703A&FHRisk and Protective Factors Related to Adolescent Fatherhood: A Multi-ethnic ComparisonStacy D Thompson, PhD, & Christine A Johnson, PhDAbstract Differences in risk and protective factors for adolescent parenting status among males were examinedusing data from the NLSY79. This study compared males who became adolescent fathers to males who did not inregards to risk factors related to adolescent childbearing. The sample included 5,760 males within four ethnicgroups: Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans and indicates that being married, living in poverty, livingwith a single father, teen marijuana and cigarette use and illegal activity were risk factors for adolescent fatherhoodwhile father’s education and rural residence were protective factors depending on father’s race. Predictors varied foreach ethnic group. Implications are discussed.Keywords: adolescent fathers, risk behaviors, adolescent childbearing, ethnic groups, protective factors, riskfactorsAdolescent & Family Health, 2009, 4(3), pp. 112-122 The past four decades have seen substantial Regarding adolescent fathers, the personal and societalchanges in adolescent sexual behavior. Research consequences of premature parenthood have beenindicates that adolescents are initiating sexual activity at ignored. The purpose of this paper is to examine the riskyounger ages, although they are engaging in safer sex. and protective factors related to adolescent fatherhoodAdolescent pregnancy declined 34% between 1991 and comparing four races.2005; however, the trend reversed in 2006 in which the According to problem behavior theory, risk-only adolescent age group who did not show an taking in adolescence represents an interaction ofincrease in birth rates were 10-14 year olds (Hamilton, personal, physiological, genetic and environmentalMartin, & Ventura, 2007). Moreover, adolescent factors (Jessor & Jessor, 1977). Problem behavior haspregnancy, birth, and abortion rates have been declining been defined as “behavior that is socially defined as asince 1991 (Meschke, Bartholomae, & entall, 2000). problem, a source of concern, or as undesirable by theDespite the fact that we have witnessed a downward norms of society and its occurrence usually illicits sometrend in adolescent pregnancy, this issue still remains a kind of social concern response” (Jessor & Jessor, 1977,grave concern for our society. The public welfare costs p. 22). Precocious sexual behavior, especially that whichof adolescent pregnancy are significant given that 40 – leads to an unplanned pregnancy during adolescence,50% of women who receive Temporary Assistance for has evoked social concern for the last three decades.Needy Families (TANF) started parenting as adolescents Other adolescent behaviors such as marijuana use,(www.acf.dhhs.gov/hypernews/tanfreaut/tanreaut/583- cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and delinquentbody.html). behaviors are also considered problem behaviors. In 2002, 757,000 adolescents between ages 15- Recent research has begun to systematically19 became pregnant in the United States and about half examine factors that may contribute to unintentionalgave birth (425,000; Ventura, Mathews, & Hamilton, adolescent pregnancies (Kotchick, Dorsey, Miller, &2001; Ventura, Abma, Mosher, & Henshaw, 2006). The Forehand, 1999). These risk or vulnerability factors mayrates of adolescent pregnancy are significantly higher in include genetic, biological, behavioral, sociocultural,the United States than for adolescents in other and demographic conditions, characteristics, ordeveloped countries (Ventura et al., 2001). Adolescent attributes. Risk or vulnerability represents a heightenedpregnancy results in a number of personal and societal probability of negative outcome based on the presenceproblems. Adolescent mothers are more likely to of one or more such factors. Most problem behaviorsexperience hardships in a number of areas compared to are developmentally organized as their rates usuallytheir non-childbearing peers. These include physical and increase with age and could in part be viewed as anmental health, educational attainment, employment and aspect of growing up. Jessor and Jessor’s (1977)income, and level of dependence and poverty (Meschke findings after studying adolescents at risk led them toet al., 2000). In addition, compared to children of older suggest that the common basis for problem behaviorsmothers, the children of adolescent mothers are more was an underlying construct of unconventionality inlikely to experience poor health, inferior cognitive adolescence. Studies found unconventionality to be aabilities, poor academic achievement, and social predictor of high levels of risk behavior in adolescence.behavioral problems (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998). (Donovan & Jessor (1985); Donovan, Jessor, & Costa 112
  2. 2. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent Fatherhood1988). The theory of problem behavior has implications Capaldi & Owen, 2005). In fact, adolescent fathers arefor research on Black, Hispanic, Native American, and twice as likely to come from home environments thatWhite adolescent males’ risk behavior(s) leading to are not supportive of academic achievement (Dearden,fatherhood. Identifying the variables that underlie Hale & Alvarez, 1992). Of the studies concerning thepremature fatherhood may facilitate a new approach to risk factors related to adolescent fatherhood, nonepolicy and prevention programs for adolescent males at have noted whether rural or urban residence were morerisk. likely to be predictors, rather several samples including Despite the declining rates of adolescent adolescent fathers are obtained from urbanpregnancy and higher rates of birth control use populations, which is most likely due to convenienceassociated with adolescent sexual behavior (Ventura et (Guagliardo et al., 1999; Resnick et al., 1993;al., 2001), it is clear that adolescent pregnancy warrants Thornberry et al., 1997). Bennett, Skatrud, Guild, Loda,further attention. Statistics on adolescent pregnancy & Klerman (1997) found that birthrates were higher inonly represent the mothers while neglecting the fathers. rural areas than in metropolitan areas for White andAdolescent birth rate data are available for females but Black adolescent females in eight southeastern statesthere is inadequate information concerning the number except for Blacks aged 15 to 17 years. Likewise,of births born to adolescent males especially when the Vincent, Clearie, & Schlucter (1987) found adolescentparents were not married and if the mother was under 20 pregnancy to be common in some rural communities.years of age at the time of birth (Landry & Forrest,1995). Thus, adolescent fathers appear to be socially Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviorsinvisible as most previous studies that focus on Adolescent males who become parentsadolescent pregnancy and parenting rarely mention the engage in more risk-taking behaviors. Findings fromfathers. This also includes prevention programs aimed several studies show adolescent fathers are more likelyat reducing adolescent pregnancy rates. This study to smoke, drink alcohol, and also report using LSD,adds to the literature by comparing several races on the marijuana, cocaine, or other drugs (Christmon &risk factors related to adolescent fatherhood. Luckey, 1994; Fagot et al., 1998; Guagliardo et al., 1999; Resnick et al., 1993). Adolescent fathers have a higherCORRELATES OF ADOLESCENT FATHERHOOD risk of unintentional injury and more arrests than their non-parenting counterparts (Fagot et al., 1998).Marital Status Additionally, adolescent males who engage in The majority of adolescent pregnancies and delinquent behaviors are more likely to engage in earlybirths occur out-of-wedlock and most adolescent onset of sexual activity and are less likely to takefathers do not marry the mothers of their first child precautions to avoid pregnancy and sexually(Landry & Forrest, 1995; Smith, Jones, & Hall, 2001). transmitted diseases (Capaldi, Crosby, & Stoolmiller,Furthermore, adolescent fathers have more sex partners, 1996).more frequent intercourse, and are inconsistent condomusers (Guagliardo, Huang, & D’Angelo, 1999), which is Self-esteemrelated to higher pregnancy risk. We know little about psychosocial antecedents of adolescent pregnancy for males ofFamily Background different races (Robbins, Kaplan, & Martin, 1985). A Adolescent males who have a pregnant study by Pirog-Good (1995) used the Nationalgirlfriend are more likely to come from families with low Longitudinal Survey of Youth Cohort (NLSY) data toparental socioeconomic status (Pirog-Good, 1995; examine the family backgrounds and attitudes of 6,403Pears, Pierce, Kim, Capaldi & Owen, 2005) and an adolescent fathers. Of particular interest, this studyabsent father (Ku, Sonenstein, & Pleck, 1993). In one examined three key socioemotional well-beingstudy comparing adolescent fathers with older fathers, measures: self-esteem, locus of control, and sex-rolethe adolescent fathers reported substantially lower beliefs. One interesting finding was that those malesfamily incomes than older fathers. Additionally, the who later became an adolescent father had the lowestadolescent fathers were more likely to report being self-esteem.homeless or describe their home environments asunstable (Quinlivan &Condon, 2005) Thus, adolescent ETHNIC DIFFERENCES IN ADOLESCENTfathers were more likely to experience family instability. FATHERHOODTheir parents were more likely to have achieved less Studies that have examined ethnic differencesyears of education (Thornberry, Smith, & Howard, have focused primarily on Blacks and Whites, thereby1997). These males are also more likely to have providing little information about adolescent fathers ofdifficulties in school and experience academic failure Hispanic and Native American ethnic backgrounds. In(Resnick, Chambliss, & Blum, 1993; Pears, Pierce, Kim, the present study socio-demographic variables areA&FH V4 N3 113
  3. 3. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent Fatherhoodtested for differences among adolescent males from METHODfour ethnic groups (non-Hispanic Whites, non- The data for this study come from the NationalHispanic Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans). Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79)Comparative differences among these groups are not conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau ofwell understood in their ability to predict adolescent Labor Statistics between 1979 and 1996, a public useparental status. Very little research has examined risks data set used by multiple disciplines in research andrelated to adolescent pregnancy in relation to race or public policy formation. The sample was drawn as acultural differences. For example, Thornberry et al.’s national probability sample from non-institutionalized(1997) study examined African American and Hispanic young people living in the United States, with an overadolescent fathers but did not compare the races sampling of Hispanics, Blacks, and economicallyseparately. The majority of studies concerning disadvantaged White youth. Respondents were 12,686adolescent fathers focus on Blacks, Whites, and young men and women between the ages of 14 to 22sometime Hispanics, rarely including other races, such when first surveyed in 1979, and 8,636 remained in theas Native Americans. study in 1996 for a retention rate of 86.6%. Data was Birth rates indicate that 479,067 adolescent collected annually from 1979 to 1994, and then everyfemales (aged 15 – 19 years) gave birth in 2000 with other year after 1994 (NLS, 1999). The NLSY79 data78.9% born to unmarried mothers (Ventura et al., 2001). were weighted to reflect the nation as a whole;Adolescent birth rates by race indicate that Hispanics therefore there were no biases to using this data as the(94.4 per 1,000) and Blacks (79.2 per 1,000) have sample.substantially higher adolescent birth rates compared to Adolescent fatherhood, the dependentother ethnic groups. Native American adolescent birth variable, was defined as whether or not the respondentrates were intermediate at 67.9 per 1,000 while Asian or had fathered a child by 19 years of age or younger. ThisPacific Islander adolescents have the lowest rate at 21.8 definition measures fatherhood exclusively in terms of abirths per 1,000. In 2000, the adolescent birth rate for live birth. The present sample examined only males andNon-Hispanic Whites was 32.8 births per 1,000. The included 5,760 men, aged 23 – 31 in 1988, who hadNational Survey of Family Growth also shows a greater completed their adolescent years. The sample wasrate of birth to Hispanic and blacks reporting that 25% 55.5% non-Hispanic White, 25.9% non-Hispanic Black,of non-Hispanic black fathers had their first child 14.2% Hispanic, and 4.4% Native American. Asiansbefore the age of twenty, 19% of Hispanic fathers were not included in analyses due to a sample size thatbecame teenage fathers; 11% of non-Hispanic white was too small to permit analysis of race differences.males became fathers as teenagers (National Center for Independent variables included the following: anHealth Statistics, 2006) adolescent marriage, socioeconomic status, rural Black adolescent males are more sexually residence, living with a single parent at age 14, self-experienced than Whites and Hispanics, and Hispanics esteem in 1980, cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana useare also more sexually experienced than Whites. In during adolescence, and illegal activity during2005, sexually active Blacks were more likely to report adolescence. Socioeconomic status was defined byusing contraceptives than Whites and Hispanics whether or not the respondent lived below the poverty(Eaton, Kann, Kinchen, Ross, Hawkins, Harris, et. al, line at age 14 and the educational attainment of his2006). Another study examining adolescent parenthood parents.and comparing races found differences between Whiteand Black adolescent fathers (Pirog-Good, 1995). RESULTSWhites had lower self-esteem than their non-parentingpeers while Black adolescent fathers were not Descriptive Datasignificantly different from their peers on self-esteem. Regarding adolescent parenthood, the averageWhite fathers were more likely to be externally age at first birth for those who became adolescentcontrolled and have more conservative sex-role fathers was 17.9 years with the ages ranging from 11 toattitudes than their non-parenting peers, while Black 19 years of age. The average age at the time their firstfathers were similar to their nonparenting peers on child was born was 18.22 years for Whites, 17.60 yearslocus of control and sex-role attitudes. Those for Blacks, 18.10 years for Native Americans and 17.98adolescents from unstable, poor and minority homes years for Hispanics (see Table 1). Forty-nine percentwere more likely to become parents prematurely. (49.4%) of the adolescent fathers were married during Objectives of our study include 1) comparison their adolescence compared to 5.5% of the non-of the differences among adolescent males who became adolescent fathers (see Table 2). White, Hispanic, andparents compared to those who did not, and 2) the Native American fathers had high adolescent maritalidentification of risk and protective factors for rates at 73.4%, 67.8%, and 63.3%, respectively, whileadolescent male parental status among each ethnic only 15.2% of Black adolescent fathers reported beinggroup. married. This compares to 6.4% (White), 2.1% (Black),A&FH V4 N3 114
  4. 4. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent FatherhoodTabl 1 .Pr val nce of A dol scent Fat er ood by Et ni i y and A ge at e e e e h h h ct non-parenting peers. Hispanic adolescent fathers wereFi st Bi t r rh less likely to live in rural areas (6.4%) compared to their A ge at Fi st Bi t r rh W hi e t Bl ck a H i pani s c N at ve A m er can i i non-parenting peers (13.8%). The percentage living in ( = 245) n ( = 243) n ( = 109) n ( = 30) n rural areas was highest among Native American 11 0 1 0 0 adolescent fathers, 33.0%, compared to 28.3% of Native 12 0 1 0 0 Americans who did not have a child. 13 0 1 0 0 Living arrangements at age 14 revealed that 14 0 6 0 0 21.5% of the fathers were living in a single mother- 15 5 8 4 1 headed household compared to 16.4% of the non- fathers. White, Hispanic, and Native Americans 16 11 33 6 0 adolescent fathers were slightly more likely to live in a 17 28 43 22 8 single mother-headed household compared to their non- 18 81 72 33 7 parenting peers (13.9% versus 10.9% for Whites; 21.1% 19 120 78 44 14 versus 18.2% for Hispanics; 16.7% versus 12.5% for M ean age at f r t is Native Americans). There was very little difference in 18. 2 2 17. 0 6 17. 8 9 18. 0 1 bi t rh the percent of Black adolescent fathers living in a single5.8% (Hispanic), 11.6% (Native American) and of the mother-headed household (29.9%) compared to theirnon-fathers. non-parenting peers (29.2%). Adolescent males who were fathers were more Regarding male adolescents living with a singlelikely to be living in poverty, 35.8%, than non-fathers, father-headed household at age 14, 2.2% of the fathers24.0%. White adolescent fathers were almost twice as were living in a single father-headed householdlikely to live in poverty compared to their non- compared to 1.2% of the non-fathers. White, Black, andparenting peers, 30.3% versus 15.5%. Forty-two Native American adolescent fathers were slightly morepercent (42.2%) of Black adolescent fathers were living likely to live in a single father-headed householdin poverty compared to 37.5% who did not have a compared to their non-parenting peers (2.4% versuschild. Hispanic fathers and non-fathers had almost no 1.2% for Whites; 2.5% versus 1.3% for Blacks; 3.3%difference in poverty rates while among Native versus 0.9% for Native Americans). Hispanic adolescentAmericans, 36.7% of adolescent fathers were living in fathers were slightly less likely to live in a single father-poverty compared to 23.3% of non-adolescent fathers. headed household compared to their non-parenting On average, adolescent fathers’ parents had peers (0.9% compared to 1.3%, respectively).about one year less education than their non-parenting Mean self-esteem scores for both adolescentpeers’ parents did (11.03 years compared to 10.01 years fathers and non-fathers were very similar at 25.06 andfor mothers and 11.11 years compared to 9.59 years for 25.08, respectively. Scores within each ethnic groupmothers). For Whites, adolescent fathers’ mothers and were also very similar.fathers had fewer years of education (10.68 years and Mean age at first cigarette, alcohol, and19.22) compared to non-adolescent fathers’ mothers marijuana use was calculated for those who reportedand fathers (11.86 years and 12.05). Black adolescent use. Average age at first cigarette use was actuallyfathers’ parents had fewer years of education (10.58 higher among adolescent fathers, 11.47 years, comparedyears for mothers and 10.01 years for fathers) to non-adolescent fathers, 10.77 years. This pattern wascompared to their non-parenting peers (10.99 years for found among Whites and Blacks. However, Hispanicmothers and 10.54 years for fathers). This pattern held adolescent fathers had a younger average age at firstfor Hispanic fathers whose parents had the lowest cigarette use (10.79 years) compared to their non-mean years of education (7.56 years for mothers and parenting peers (11.15 years). The average age at first7.34 years for fathers) compared to their non-parenting cigarette use was also younger for Native Americanpeers’ parents (7.76 years for mothers and 8.42 years adolescent fathers (10.37 years) than non-adolescentfor fathers). Native American fathers’ parents had fathers (10.49 years).lower mean years of education (9.90 years for mothers Mean age at first alcohol use (14.79 years) wasand 9.11 years for fathers) compared to years of Native lower for adolescent fathers compared to adolescentAmerican males’ parents (10.74 years for mothers and non-fathers (15.11 and 15.54 years, respectively). Native10.41 years for fathers). American fathers had the youngest average age at first Adolescent fathers were more likely to be alcohol use at 13.93 years compared to 14.97 years forliving in rural areas (21.6%) than non-fathers (17.2%). their non-parenting peers. Whites and Hispanics alsoWhite fathers (26.1%) and non-fathers (24.7%) had had a younger age at first alcohol use for adolescentalmost no difference in the percentage living in rural fathers (14.44 years for Whites, 14.26 years forareas. Black adolescent fathers were also less likely to Hispanics) compared to non-adolescent fathers (15.25live in rural areas, 11.1%, compared to 17.5% of their years for Whites, 14.80 years for Hispanics). For BlacksA&FH V4 N3 115
  5. 5. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent Fatherhood Tabl 2.D escr pt ve D at Com par ng A dol scent W ho Becam e Par nt t A dol scent W ho D i N ot by Et ni G r up e i i a i e s e s o e s d , h c o % Si gl Par nt n e e % Teen A ge at 1st Bi t rh % Poor % R ur l a % Il gal le N % H om e M ar i ge ra M ean ( D ) S @ 14 @ 14 A ct vi y i t M ot er Fat er h / hN on- ar nt P e s W hi e, t 2949 92. 3 6. 4 n/a 15. 5 24. 7 10. / . 2 9 12 15. 6 N on- i pani Hs c Bl ck, a 1249 83. 7 2. 1 n/a 37. 5 17. 5 29. / . 8 2 12 12. 3 N on- i pani Hs c H i pani s c 711 86. 7 5. 8 n/a 35. 6 13. 8 18. / . 7 2 12 15. 0 N at ve i 224 88. 2 11. 6 n/a 23. 3 28. 3 12. / . 5 09 25. 0 A m er can i Tot l as 5133 89. 1 5. 5 n/a 24. 0 21. 6 16. / . 3 4 12 15. 2 Teen Par nt e s W hi e, t 245 7. 7 73. 4 18. 2( . 6) 2 09 30. 3 26. 1 13. / . 9 24 29. 1 N on- i pani Hs c Bl ck, a 243 16. 3 15. 2 17. 0( . 3) 6 14 42. 2 11. 1 29. / . 9 25 25. 1 N on- i pani Hs c H i pani s c 109 13. 3 67. 8 17. 8( . 8) 9 10 34. 0 6. 4 21. / . 1 09 22. 0 N at ve i 30 11. 8 63. 3 18. 0( . 8) 1 10 36. 7 33. 3 13. / . 7 33 43. 3 A m er can i Tot l as 627 10. 9 49. 4 17. 3( . 1) 9 12 35. 8 17. 2 21. / . 3 5 22 27. 0however, average age at first alcohol use was higher discrepancy occurred for Native Americans with 43.3%among adolescent fathers (15.51 years) compared to of adolescent fathers reporting illegal activity comparednon-adolescent fathers (14.95 years). to 25.0% of non-adolescent fathers. Average age at first marijuana use wasyounger for adolescent fathers, 14.89 years, compared Logistic Regression Predicting Adolescent Fatherto non-adolescent fathers, 15.54 years. This pattern Statusheld within each ethnic group, with the largest Logistic regression was used to understanddiscrepancy occurring between Black adolescent which variables are predictors of adolescentfathers (14.91 years) and non-fathers (15.84 years). parenthood (with adolescent parenthood used as the Adolescent fathers had a higher rate of dependent variable). First, logistic regression was runengaging in illegal activities and being arrested for an on the entire sample with ethnicity as a predictorillegal activity during adolescence with 27.0% of variable (ethnicity was dummy coded so that Whitesadolescent fathers reporting such activity compared to were the control group). Teen marriage (teen marriage =15.2% of their non-parenting peers. This pattern 1), poverty status (poverty = 1), rural residence at 14appeared within each ethnic group. The largest (rural = 1), being raised by a single parent (single = 1), A&FH V4 N3 116
  6. 6. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent FatherhoodTabl 2.D escr pt ve D at Com par ng A dol scent W ho Becam e Par nt t A dol scent W ho D i N ot by Et ni e i i a i e s e s o e s d , h cG r up ( on) o c t Year M ot er Year Fat er s h s h Sel - st em fE e A ge 1st A l ohol c A ge 1st Sm oke A ge 1st M ar j ana iu Educat on i Educat on i M ean ( D ) S M ean ( D ) S M ean ( D ) S M ean ( D ) S M ean ( D ) S M ean ( D ) SN on- ar nt P e s W hi e, t 11. 6( . 0) 8 24 12. 5( . 6) 25. 8( . 2) 0 32 1 14 15. 5( . 6) 2 49 10. 0( . 3) 5 55 15. 4( . ) 4 24 N on- i pani Hs c Bl ck, a 10. 9( . 2) 9 24 10. 4( . 1) 24. 5( . 4) 5 29 9 16 14. 5( . 3) 9 59 11. 4( . 6) 2 62 15. 4( . 8) 8 25 N on- i pani Hs c H i pani s c 7. 6( . 7) 7 44 8. 2( . 5) 4 45 24. 8( . 9) 8 14 14. 0( . 1) 8 57 11. 5( . 8) 1 62 15. 1( . 9) 7 24 N at ve i 10. 4( . 9) 7 23 10. 1( . 8) 25. 6( . 6) 4 35 0 13 14. 7( . 4) 9 49 10. 9( . 0) 4 54 14. 0( . 7) 4 32 A m er can iTot l as 11. 3( . 6) 0 30 11. 1( . 3) 25. 8( . 9) 1 36 0 14 15. 1( . 0) 1 53 10. 7( . 3) 7 58 15. 4( . 5) 5 25Teen Par nt e s W hi e, t 10. 8( . 3) 6 21 10. 2( . 6) 25. 7( . 9) 2 33 2 14 14. 4( . 1) 4 52 11. 4( . 6) 3 43 14. 6( . 1) 8 25 N on- i pani Hs c Bl ck, a 10. 8( . 4) 5 23 10. 1( . 0) 24. 1( . 5) 0 26 9 16 15. ( . 3) 546 12. 3( . 7) 0 54 14. ( . 8) 925 N on- i pani Hs c H i pani s c 7. 6( . 2) 2 36 7. 4( . 5) 3 42 24. 8( . 4) 9 17 14. 6( . 2) 2 54 10. 9( . 3) 7 61 15. 9( . 7) 1 28 N at ve i 9. 0( . 6) 9 27 9. 1( . 0) 1 33 24. 4( . 4) 8 14 13. 3( . 9) 9 45 10. 7( . 8) 3 41 14. 8( . 2) 1 33 A m er can iTot l as 10. ( . 5) 028 9. 9( . 3) 5 34 25. 6( . 0) 0 16 14. 9( . 2) 7 50 11. 7( . 6) 4 51 14. 9( . 8) 8 25cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use (teen use = 1), and by almost two times whereas living with a single motherillegal activity (teen onset = 1) were dichotomous had no significant effect on adolescent fatherhood.predictor variables. When examining substance use, marijuana use Being married, poverty status, living with a increased (by 1.33 times) the likelihood of adolescentsingle father, teen marijuana use and illegal activity fatherhood, while cigarette and alcohol use was notwere significantly related to an increased risk of significant. Likewise, adolescent fatherhood wasadolescent fatherhood. Father’s education, and living increased by the engagement in illegal activity. Higherin a rural area were significantly related to a decreased levels of father’s education somewhat decreased therisk of adolescent fatherhood (see Table 3). odds of being an adolescent father. Living in a rural Being married resulted in an increased risk for area decreased the odds of becoming an adolescentadolescent fatherhood, over 29 times the risk. Poverty father by almost half (68%). Self-esteem and mother’sstatus increased the odds of being an adolescent father education level had no significant effect on adolescentby one and a half times. Living with a single father fatherhood.increased the odds of becoming an adolescent father A&FH V4 N3 117
  7. 7. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent Fatherhood N at ve i Var abl i e A l M al s l e W hi es t Bl cks a H i pani s s c A m er cans i 29. 0 4 40. 0 1 10. 7 2 39. 8 6 19. 7 0 Teen M ar i ge ra ( 3. 60 - 037. 8) ( 3. 6 - 37. 8) ( . 5 - 17. 7) 2 0 4 2 0 4 59 4 ( 2. 3 - 69. 6) 2 7 2 ( . 6 - 52. 4) 69 2 1. 9 4 1. 7 8 Pover y St t s t au n/s n/s n/s ( . 0 - 1. 6) 12 8 ( . 5 - 2. 0) 12 8 M ot ers Educat on h i n/s n/s n/s n/s n/s 0. 4 9 0. 4 9 Fat ers Educat on h i n/s n/s n/s ( . 1 - 0. 7) 09 9 ( . 9 - 1. 0) 08 0 0. 8 6 0. 6 5 0. 3 3 R ur l a n/s n/s ( . 2 - 0. 9) 05 8 ( . 6 - 0. 8) 03 8 ( . 2 - 0. 5) 01 8 Si gl M ot er n e h n/s n/s n/s n/s n/s 1. 9 9 Si gl Fat er n e h n/s n/s n/s n/s ( . 0 - 3. 6) 10 9 Sel - st em 1980 fE e n/s n/s n/s n/s n/s Teen A l oholU se c n/s n/s n/s n/s n/s 1. 3 6 Teen Ci ar t e U se g et n/s n/s n/s n/s ( . 8 - 2. 4) 10 4 1. 2 3 1. 7 7 3. 0 0 Teen M ar j ana U se iu n/s n/s ( . 3 - 1. 7) 10 6 ( . 8 - 2. 5) 11 6 ( . 6 - 8. 0) 10 5 2. 9 0 1. 8 7 1. 7 3 2. 0 4 Il galA ct vi y le i t n/s ( . 5 - 2. 4) 16 6 ( . 0 - 2. 4) 12 6 ( . 4 - 3. 1) 16 4 ( . 4 - 4. 6) 12 6 N agel er e R2 k k 0. 5 3 0. 5 4 0. 3 1 0. 6 4 0. 0 4 When race was included as a predictor of variables are better predictors of adolescent fatherhoodadolescent fatherhood, (Whites were used as the for Whites (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.45) and Native Americansreferent group) results revealed that Native Americans (Nagelkerke R2 = 0.40).were almost three and one-half times more likely to Logistic regression analyses showed eachbecome adolescent fathers relative to Whites. Being ethnic group had different predictors for adolescentBlack or Hispanic did not significantly increase the odds fatherhood. Interestingly, being married significantlyof becoming an adolescent father. increased the incidence of adolescent parenting for all males, especially for Whites (40.10) and HispanicsRisk Factors for Adolescent Fatherhood by Ethnic (39.68) and was a risk factor for adolescent fatherhoodGroup for all four groups. Poverty was a predictive factor for Next separate logistic regression analyses were Whites (1.87) only and increased the odds of anconducted for each ethnic group. R2s indicate that the adolescent pregnancy by almost twice. Higher father’sindependent variables best reduce the likelihood of error education level reduced the odds of an adolescentin prediction of adolescent fatherhood for Hispanics (R2 becoming a father for Blacks (0.94) only however, non-= 0.46). Most of this influence is from adolescent significant results were found for mother’s educationmarriage and illegal activity. However, Blacks had the level for all race groups. Blacks (0.56) and Hispanicsleast amount of error accounted for in the model with (0.33) had lower odds of becoming an adolescent father13% of the variance accounted for by the variables. The if they lived in a rural area. For Whites and Native A&FH V4 N3 118
  8. 8. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent FatherhoodAmericans, there was no significance for rural & Forrest, 1995; Smith et al., 2001). More likely marriageresidence. follows the pregnancy or birth, which may be why Living in a single parent household with adolescent marriage is a risk factor for adolescenteither a mother or father was not significant for any parenthood although nearly 80% of adolescent fathersrace. The adolescent fathers did not have lower self- do not marry the mothers of their first child (Smith etesteem than non-adolescent fathers and this factor did al., 2001). Berry, Shillington, Peak and Hohman (2000)not increase the odds of an adolescent pregnancy found that adolescent marriage increased the odds ofamong any of the four ethnic groups. Teen alcohol use an adolescent pregnancy for all ethnic groups ofwas not a significant risk factor of teen fatherhood for adolescent females; the current study also foundany of the ethnic groups. However, teen cigarette use adolescent marriage to increase the odds of having aincreased the odds of adolescent fatherhood for Blacks child during adolescence for all ethnic groups. It(1.63) only, while marijuana use increased the odds for should be noted that there may be a significantWhites (1.77) and Native Americans (3.00) only. difference in the male whose partner actually carries aHispanics had no statistically influential results pregnancy to term compared to those who do not, andregarding substance use. Illegal activity was related to since the current study examined those who actuallyincreased odds of adolescent fatherhood for all groups became parents, this group could be distinctlyexcept Native Americans. Illegal activity increased the different. Additionally, it should be noted that theodds of adolescent fatherhood for Whites (1.78), factors that are related to adolescent motherhood areBlacks (1.37) and Hispanics (2.40). likely to be different from those of adolescent The results of the logistic regression indicate fatherhood.differences between the ethnic groups in the riskfactors for adolescent fatherhood by race. For Whites, Poverty Statusmarital status, poverty status, teen marijuana use and A factor related to the increase in theillegal activity were risk factors. There were no likelihood for adolescent pregnancy for Whites wasprotective factors for Whites. Marital status, teen living below the poverty line at age 14. This was onlycigarette use and illegal activity were risk factors for significant for Whites. Those who live in poverty oftenBlacks while father’s education and rural residence at have fewer resources available as well as lessage 14 were protective factors for adolescent education leading to the lack of long-term goals.fatherhood. For Hispanics, being married and illegalactivity were risk factors while living in a rural Substance useresidence at age 14 was a protective factor. Only Not surprisingly, substance use was related tomarijuana use and marital status during adolescence higher risk of adolescent parenthood. Black adolescentinfluenced the likelihood of adolescent parenthood for males who began smoking during adolescence are moreNative American males. likely to become an adolescent father, while White and Native American adolescent males who used marijuanaDISCUSSION during adolescence are more likely to become parents. Adolescent pregnancy and parenthood is acomplicated issue that has defied most solutions. Illegal A activityResearch on adolescent parenting has focused For each ethnic group except Nativeprimarily on the mother with the fathers being sadly Americans, illegal activity was significantly related toignored. This study seeks to fill that gap by providing an increased risk of adolescent fatherhood. It isan investigation of the risk and protective factors that possible that those males engaging in illegal behaviorsare related to adolescent males becoming a father. also engage in other risk behaviors, such asThere were some similarities between races in unprotected sex. Capaldi, Crosby, and Stoolmiller (1996)protective and risk factors related to becoming an found that males who engaged in antisocial behaviorsadolescent parent and several differences and substance use were engaged in sexual activity at younger ages.Risk Factors Protective FactorsTeen marriage Results revealed that being married Father’s Educationsignificantly increased the odds of becoming an Father’s education level slightly decreased theadolescent father, regardless of race, by 10 to 40 times. likelihood of an adolescent birth for only Blacks. TheData on adolescent childbearing reveals that the more education the Black adolescent male’s father, themajority are unwed when a pregnancy occurs (Landry lower the odds that his son would become an A&FH V4 N3 119
  9. 9. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent Fatherhoodadolescent father. Mother’s education, though, had no Limitationssignificant effect on adolescent males’ fatherhood Although this data comes from a national datastatus. set and is representative of the population from which it was drawn, using secondary data limits the variablesRural Residence that are available and how they are operationalized. For Living in a rural area decreased the risk of an example, information on a pregnancy of a partner mayadolescent pregnancy by almost half and two-thirds for have provided different results, but only age at firstBlacks and Hispanics, respectively. Rural residence was birth was available. Over 50% of all adolescentnot significant for Whites and Native Americans. It may pregnancies end in miscarriage or abortion. Thosebe reasonable to think of rural residence as having a males who had a partner become pregnant may bedecreased rate of adolescence due to more roles for the different from those males who had a partner give birth.youth such as sports, academics, etc (Garbarino, 1980). Also, age at first intercourse as well as the age of theirRural areas may have more activities for adolescents to first partner may have been risk factors related toengage in and more monitoring by not only parents but adolescent parenthood. Another limitation is the factalso others in the community, which may limit that the data are self-reported with sensitiveopportunities to engage in those activities related to information being requested therefore participants maypremature parental status. not be as forthcoming with their responses, and thus may be under-reporting risky behaviors, includingInsignificant Factors being an adolescent father. Variables that were not significantly related to Another limitation is the data used wereadolescent fatherhood were mother’s education, living collected over 20 years ago and several societal trendswith a single mother or a single father, self-esteem, and have occurred in the years since. One is the increasedalcohol use. Interestingly alcohol use was not a risk number of diagnoses of AIDS and HIV related tofactor although alcohol lowers inhibition and is more increased use of prophylactics during intercourselikely to be related to unprotected sex (Neff & (Piccinino & Mosher, 1998) possibly leading to changesCrawford, 1998). The impact of a father’s presence in risk behaviors. There has also been a decline induring a male’s adolescence should be an important adolescent pregnancy which is related to two socialprotective factor for preventing premature pregnancies, issues: changes in sexual behavior (such asbut was not. Similarly, the absence of a father in a abstinence) and contraceptive use (Alan Guttmachersingle mother household was not a significant risk Institute, 1994). The strong economy of the past fewfactor. The level of self-esteem was similar among those years may also have contributed to the decline inwho became adolescent fathers and those who did not, adolescent pregnancy rates due to the improved careerand therefore it was not a protective factor. opportunities to young people.Similarities and Differences by Race of Adolescent ImplicationsMales Adolescent pregnancy and childbearing The only risk factor that was significant across continues to be a social problem worthy of study.all races was being married. It had a very large effect for Previous work has taken into account factors related toall race groups with Whites and Hispanics having the adolescent mothers’ childbearing and parenting farhighest probability (40 times) and Blacks the lowest (10 more than that of adolescent fathers. Future work in thetimes) and Native Americans somewhere in between. area should continue to focus on adolescent fathers inEngaging in illegal activity was a significant risk factor addition to adolescent mothers.for all racial groups except Native Americans. This About half of the fathers of infants born tovariable doubled the probability of adolescent adolescent mothers are adolescents themselves (Elo,fatherhood for Hispanics and nearly doubled it for King, & Furstenberg, 1999; Kaplan et al. 2001; Ventura,Whites. For Whites, poverty status and adolescent Martin, Curtin, Mathews, & Park, 2000). What makesmarijuana use were also significantly related to these adolescent males unique from their peers? Theincreased likelihood of becoming a father. For Blacks, findings presented here suggest that several factorsteen cigarette use increased the odds of becoming an may be involved with increasing or decreasing the oddsadolescent father, while father’s education and rural of being an adolescent father, depending on their race,residence decreased the odds. For Hispanics’ rural and therefore, there is no simple prevention strategy.residence decreased the odds of adolescent The United States has recently witnessed the lowestparenthood. For Native Americans, marijuana use was rates of adolescent pregnancy and birth in 20 yearssignificantly related to adolescent parental status. (Ventura, Mosher, Curtin, & Abma, 2001). This is mostly A&FH V4 N3 120
  10. 10. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent Fatherhooddue to better contraceptive use and also to increased because those males who marry may be marrying as aabstinence among youth due to changing attitudes result of an unplanned pregnancy. The adolescenttowards premarital sex (Ventura et al., 2001). Even so, females may likely be the gatekeepers of sexual activity,these results indicate that there are several risk and therefore changing their attitudes may change theirprotective factors to consider in pregnancy prevention behaviors surrounding sexual activity with theirprograms aimed at adolescent males. partners. This is a complicated and sensitive issue that Pregnancy prevention programs need to be is worthy of further investigation.aimed at males as well as females and should take into Lastly, rural residence for Blacks andaccount the ethnic and cultural factors that are related Hispanics and higher father education for Blacksto adolescent parenting rates. Prevention programs decreased the odds of adolescent fatherhood. Fathersneed to begin early and should vary depending on the of adolescent Black males who have more educationpopulation served. Those White adolescent males who may create an environment that provides a moregrow up in poverty, Black adolescent males who use promising view of life that the adolescent could achievecigarettes White and Native American adolescent males with an education. The adolescent may be warnedwho use marijuana, and White, Black and Hispanic about the consequences a premature pregnancy andadolescent males involved in illegal activity should be birth would bring to his goals. Those adolescentstargeted, as they are at increased risk. living in rural residence may have more roles feeling as Another issue to address is the partner of if they are a valued member of the community whereasthese males. The present study found that being those in urban areas may have more difficulties feelingmarried was a significant risk factor for males, as they unique and special. This is a multifaceted problemwere more likely to be married to the mother of their first complicated by the interaction of personal,child, and married adolescent males are at least 10 times physiological, genetic and environmental factors. Themore likely to become an adolescent father. The risk solution is long-term and needs to begin duringfactor of adolescent marriage observed here may be childhood.References Bennett, T., Skatrud, J. D., Guild, P., Loda, F., & Klerman, L. V. (1997). Rural adolescent pregnancy: A viewfrom the south. Family Planning Perspectives, 29(6), 256-260. Berry, E. H., Shillington, A. M., Peak, T., & Hohman, M. M. (2000). Multi-ethnic comparison of risk andprotective factors for adolescent pregnancy. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 17(2), 79-96. Capaldi, D. M., Crosby, L., & Stoolmiller, M. (1996) Predicting the timing of first sexual intercourse for at-risk adolescent males. Child Development, 67, 344-359. Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) Reauthorization Comments on Teen Pregnancy Prevention andTeen Parents website. Retrieved October 15, 2002 from www.acf.dhhs.gov/hypernews/tanfreaut/tanreaut/583-body.html. Christmon, K., & Luckey, I. (1994). Is early fatherhood associated with alcohol and other drug use? Journalof Substance Abuse, 6, 337-343. Coley, R. L. & Chase-Lansdale, P. L. (1998). Adolescent pregnancy and parenthood: Recent evidence andfuture directions. American Psychologist, 53(2), 152-166. Dearden, K., Hale, C., & Alvarez, J. (1992). The educational antecedents of teen fatherhood. British Journalof Education Psychology, 62, 139 – 147. Donovan, J., & Jessor, R. (1985). Structure of problem behavior in adolescence and young adulthood.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53(6), 890-904. Donovan, J., Jessor, R, & Costa, F. (1988). Syndrome of problem behavior in adolescence: A replication.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56(5), 762-765 Eaton, D. K., Kann, L., Kinchen, S., Ross, J., Hawkins, J., Harris, W. et. al. (2006). Youth risk behaviorsurveillance, United States, 2005. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 55(SS-5), 1-108. Elo, I., T., King, R. B., & Furstenberg, F. F. (1999). Adolescent females: Their sexual partners and the fathersof their children. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61(1), 74-84. Fagot, B. I., Pears, K. C., Capaldi, D. M., Crosby, L., & Leve, C. S. (1998). Becoming an adolescent father:Precursers and parenting. Developmental Psychology, 34(6), 1209-1219. Guagliardo, M. F., Huang, Z., & D’Angelo, L. J. (1999). Fathering pregnancies: Marking health-riskbehaviors in urban adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 24, 10-15. Hamilton, B.E, Marin, J.A., & Ventura, S.J. (2007). Births: Preliminary data for 2006. National Vital A&FH V4 N3 121
  11. 11. Article number: 0001850703 Risk Factors Related to Adolescent FatherhoodStatistics Reports, 56(7), 1-18. Jessor, R., & Jessor, S. L. (1977). Problem Behavior and Psychosocial Development. New York: AcademicPress. Kaplan, D. W., Feinstein, R. A., Fisher, M. M., Klein, J. D., Olmedo, L. F., Rome, E. S. et al. (2001). Care ofadolescent parents and their children. Pediatrics, 107(2), 429-434. Kirby, D. (1999). Reflections on two decades of research on teen sexual behavior and pregnancy. TheJournal of School Health, 69(3), 89-94 Kotchick, B. A., Dorsey, S., Miller, K. S., & Forehand, R. (1999). Adolescent sexual risk-taking behavior insingle-parent ethnic minority families. Journal of Family Psychology, 13(1), 93-102. Ku, L., Sonenstein, F. L., & Pleck, J. H. (1993). Neighborhood, family, and work: Influences on thepremarital behaviors of adolescent males. Social Forces, 72, 479-503. Landry, D. J., & Forrest, J. D. (1995). How old are U.S. fathers? Family Planning Perspectives, 27(4), 159-161, 164. Meschke, L. L., Bartholomae, S., & Zentall, S. R. (2000). Adolescent sexuality and parent-adolescentprocesses: Promoting healthy teen choices. Family Relations, 49(2), 143-154. National Center for Health Statistics. (2006). Fertility, contraception, and fatherhood: Data on men andwomen from cycle 6 (2002) of the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. (Vital and Health Statistics, Series 23 No.26). Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. National Longitudinal Study. (1999). NLS Handbook. The Ohio State University. Pears, K. C., Pierce, S. L., Kim, H. K., Capaldi, D. M., & Owen, L. D. (2005). The timing of entry intofatherhood in young, at-risk men. Journal of Marriage and Family 67(2), 429–447 Pirog-Good, M. A. (1995). The family background and attitudes of teen fathers. Youth & Society, 26(3),351-376. Quinlivan, J. A. & Condon, J. (2005). Anxiety and depression in fathers in teenage pregnancy. Australianand New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39, 915-920. Resnick, M. D., Chambliss, S. A., & Blum, R. W. (1993). Health and risk behaviors of urban adolescentmales involved in pregnancy. Families in Society, 74, 366-374. Robbins, C., Kaplan, H. B., & Martin, S. S. (1985). Antecedents of pregnancy among unmarriedadolescents. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 47, 567 – 583. Smith, B. P., Jones, K. H., & Hall, H. C. (2001). Adolescent pregnancy and sexual behavior: Through thelenses family and consumer sciences teaches. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 93(2), 35-41. Sonenstein, F. L., Ku, L., Lindberg, L. D., Turner, C. F., & Pleck, J. H. (1998). Changes in sexual behaviorand condom use among teenaged males: 1988 to 1995. American Journal of Public Health, 88(6), 956-959. Thornberry, T. P., Smith, C. A., Howard, G, J. (1997). Risk factors for teenage fatherhood. Journal ofMarriage and the Family, 59, 505-522. Ventura, S. J., Mathews, T. J., & Hamilton, B. E. (2001). Births to teenagers in the United States, 1940 –2000. National Vital Statistics Reports, 49(10), 1-24. Ventura, S. J., Mosher, W. D., Curtin, S. C., & Abma, J. C. (2001). Trends in pregnancy rates for the UnitedStates, 1976-97: An update. National Vital Statistics Reports, 49(4), 1-12. Ventura, S. J., Mosher, W. D., Curtin, S. C., Abma, J. C. & Henshaw, S.K. (2006). Recent trends in teenagepregnancy in the United States, 1990-2002. National Vital Statistics Reports, Available from www.cdc/gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/teenpreg1990-2002.htm Ventura, S. J., Martin, J. A., Curtin, S. C., Mathews, T.J., & Park, M. M. (2000). Births: Final data for 1998. National Vital Statistics Reports, 48(3), 1-100. Vincent, M. L., Clearie, A. F., & Schlucter, M. D. (1987). Reducing adolescent pregnancy through schooland community-based education. Journal of American Medical Association, 257, 3382-3386. A&FH V4 N3 122
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