Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Karen C. Stoiber
Paul Florsheim, Cindy M. Walker, Sheri Johnson, Kyongboon Kwon
Adolescents, Coparenting, Pregnancy
The transition to parenthood is typically regarded as a difficult adjustment period for couples. In comparison to adult parents, pregnant adolescent mothers and young expectant fathers experience increased stressors during the transition to parenthood. There are significant implications for the wellbeing of the adolescents, as well as for their child, when the transition to parenthood is contentious. This study examined whether the Young Parenthood Project (YPP), a program focused on improving the co-parenting alliance, could improve the interpersonal interactions between adolescent mothers and their counterpart expectant fathers. Participants (n=106 couples) were randomized into one of three groups: 1) control, 2) care-coordination only, or 3) YPP, which included couples’ counseling with care coordination. The interpersonal behaviors of participants were assessed through two videotaped interactions involving the couple during the second trimester of their pregnancy (pre-assessment) and then six months after the child’s birth (post-assessment). Results indicated that mothers in the YPP group demonstrated more frequent “Affirming and Understanding” interpersonal behavior, a type of positive communication, at post-assessment than would be expected if the variables of gender, time, and group were independent. In contrast, mothers in the control group displayed less frequent “Affirming and Understanding” interpersonal behaviors at the post-assessment than would be expected if the variables of gender, time, and group were independent. Participants in the care coordination group demonstrated less frequent “Disclosing and Expressing” interpersonal behavior, a positive type of communication at the post-assessment than would be expected if the variables of gender, time, and group were independent. Participants in the care coordination group also demonstrated significantly more frequent “Asserting and Separating” communication, a neutral type of interpersonal behaviors, at the post-assessment than would be expected if the variables of gender, time, and group were independent. Results demonstrated that mothers in the YPP group displayed more frequent positive interpersonal interactions towards their co-parenting partners at the post-assessment, while participants in the care coordination group displayed less frequent warmth and more frequent neutral interpersonal communication at the post-assessment. These findings provided support for further exploration of the co-parenting relationship between adolescent parents.
Hernandez, Melissa, "Changing the Quality of Interpersonal Behaviors Between Pregnant Adolescents and Expectant Young Fathers: an Analysis of a Co-Parenting Intervention" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 877.