Psychosocial stressors of drug-abusing disadvantaged adolescent mothers

Frank A. Scafidi, Tiffany Field, Margarita Prodromidis, Elizabeth Rahdert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were administered to 55 disadvantaged adolescent mothers who abused drugs during pregnancy and 49 nondrug-abusing disadvantaged adolescent mothers. Results suggested that the drug-abusing mothers were depressed (BDI = 14) while the nondrug-abusing mothers were nondepressed (BDI = 6). In addition, the drug-abusing mothers reported more mental and physical health problems, more problematic family and peer relationships, poorer social skills, more aggressive behavior, less constructive use of leisure time, and a lower educational and vocational status than did non-drug-abusing adolescent mothers. A multiple regression analysis of POSIT scales indicated that the best predictors of drug abuse during pregnancy were mental health status, leisure and recreational activities, and peer relationships. These results highlight the utility of administering the POSIT to identify stressors that place pregnant adolescents at risk for drug abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
Issue number125
StatePublished - Mar 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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