The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors for early pregnancy and outcomes of early parenthood among girls with serious emotional disturbance (SED). Longitudinal data were collected during a 7-year period from 190 female adolescents with SED, ages 9 to 18 at the beginning of the study, and their families. Of the sample, 39% had their first pregnancy by age 18. The results of univariate analyses indicated that among examined risk factors (a) being African American, (b) low family income, (c) dropping out of school, (d) conduct disorder, and (e) substance use disorder were significantly (ps <.05) associated with early pregnancy. However, according to multivariate analysis, only dropping out of school was a significant predictor of early pregnancy. The study also examined outcomes of early parenthood for girls with SED. Girls who had children were more likely (ps <.05) to live in poverty, receive public assistance, and live independently. Dropout status also was examined as an outcome variable, and was a significantly more (p <.05) frequent consequence for girls who had children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health