From the Journals

Interactive parenting, life skill intervention improves self-esteem in teen mothers



Teen moms in a teen-tot clinic program who received added interactive parenting and life skill training had higher self-esteem and lower repeat pregnancy rates than did those who received standard care, according to Joanne E. Cox, MD, director of primary care at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and her associates.

A total of 140 mothers who were aged less than 19 years when they delivered and whose child was aged less than 12 months were included in the study published in Pediatrics. Of this group, 72 received the intervention, which included a series of five 1-hour, one-on-one, interactive modules adapted from the Nurturing and Ansell-Casey Life Skills curricula, delivered over the infant’s first 15 months, in addition to standard teen-tot clinic care. The remaining 68 mothers received teen-tot care alone.

While overall maternal self-esteem decreased in both the intervention and control groups when measured at 36 months, the intervention group experienced a significantly smaller decrease from baseline (P = .011). Similarly, the intervention group had higher scores regarding preparedness for motherhood (P = .011), acceptance of infant (P = .008), and expected relationship with infant (P = .029).

Of the 52 mothers in the intervention group and 48 mothers in the control group for whom pregnancy data was available at 36 months, 42% in the intervention group had a repeat pregnancy, compared with 67% in the control group (adjusted odds ratio, 0.20; 95% confidence interval, 0.06-0.75; P = .017).

The study findings “highlight the positive impact of pairing medical services with comprehensive social services and parenting education and can inform future policy and services for teen parents. These positive effects also have potential to improve long-term outcomes for teens and their children,” Dr. Cox and her associates concluded.

The study authors reported no conflicts of interest. The study was supported in part by a grant from the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs, the Edgerley Family Endowment, a Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training grant, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

SOURCE: Cox JE et al. Pediatrics. 2019 Feb 12. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2303.

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