Parenting behaviors related to maternal age and ethnicity

Angelina T Morales, Pace University


Research suggests that women who have children at a young age tend to exhibit more problematic parenting behaviors than older mothers. These problematic behaviors (e.g., lower levels of sensitivity toward their child, unrealistic expectations regarding child's development) can have long lasting effects on their children's behavioral and academic functioning. The Parent Development Theory (PDT) suggests that parenting skills continue to develop, with different aspects of parenting changing in importance as children grow and develop throughout parenthood. The PDT has not been explored within an adolescent mother population. The present research considered adolescent mothers and investigated whether the age at which mothers give birth to their children is associated with perceptions of parenting and the parent role. In addition, ethnic differences between Latina and non-Latina mothers were investigated. Overall, this research revealed that women who have children at younger ages endorse negative forms of parenting more frequently than their older counterparts. In addition, Latina mothers tended to endorse different aspects of parenting (e.g., bonding, education) as being more important than non-Latina mothers. There are implications from this research for education, professional practice, and future study.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Morales, Angelina T, "Parenting behaviors related to maternal age and ethnicity" (2010). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3420662.



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