Teenage parenting in different cultures, family constellations, and caregiving environments: Effects on infant development

Tiffany M Field, Susan Widmayer, Sherilyn Adler, Mercedes De Cubas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Teenage parenting was investigated in different ethnic groups (Cuban and American Black), family constellations (single‐parent, nuclear, and extended families), and primary caregiving arrangements (mother versus other). One hundred sixty‐four infants born to a representative sample of teenage mothers were observed during interactions with their mothers and were given developmental assessments when they were 12, 18, and 24 months of age. Being a Cuban mother, living in a nuclear family, and being a secondary caregiver were each associated independently with stronger social support systems and more positive child‐rearing attitudes and mother‐infant play interactions. Despite these early advantages, maternal stimulation and infant performance decreased over the second year of life irrespective of ethnic group, family constellation, and caregiving arrangements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-174
Number of pages17
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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