The present study used a person-centered approach to examine resilience in parenting among a sample of young mothers (under age 21 at childbirth). Resilient functioning as a parent was defined as the lack of perpetration of child maltreatment (substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect) in the context of risk. Risk factors were assessed at multiple levels, including family (e.g., negative childhood histories in family of origin) and ecological (e.g., neighborhood poverty, mother's financial stress) levels. Analyses revealed a group of mothers who demonstrated resilience in parenting despite a context of substantial risks from their childhood histories (e.g., negative family relationships) and current ecologies (e.g., economic and neighborhood conditions). Mothers in the resilient group were less likely to a) live with their families of origin, and b) to rely on their own mothers as sources of emotional or caregiving support. Data also indicated that young mothers' resilient functioning as parents was associated with higher rates of depressive symptoms among these mothers, perhaps suggesting a “cost” or limit to resilient parenting functioning in young mothers. Results are discussed in a resilience framework. (Author abstract)
Resilience in parenting among young mothers: Family and ecological risks and opportunities
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