Home environments and developmental outcomes of children born to teenage mothers
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This study examined the role of home environments in the cognitive and behavioral outcomes of children born to teenage mothers. The sample consisted of 1,011 firstborn children aged 6 to 18 and their mothers selected from the 1990 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Multivariate regression analyses revealed that the quality of home environments mediated the effects of father presence on the behavioral adjustment of children, even taking other socio-demographic and maternal characteristics into account. Moreover, the results showed that the home environment was the best predictor for both the academic achievement and the behavioral problems of children even after controlling for such background factors as family income, number of children, maternal education, and self-esteem. Also, when other variables in the model were statistically accounted for, the mothers' age at first birth was unrelated to the quality of home environments, and with controlling for the home environment, it was not a significant predictor of either the cognitive attainment or the behavioral adjustment of children. The findings evidence the importance of home environments for the optimal development of children, and suggest that strong home environments contribute to prevent potential negative outcomes and promote positive developmental outcomes of children born to teenage mothers.
- Doctoral Dissertations