Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dr. Luz Porter

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Amy Paul-Ward

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Sandra Lobar

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. Deborah Sherman


Parenting adolescent mothers, Repeat adolescent pregnancy, Resilience, Social Influences

Date of Defense



Every year, 16 million women aged 15 to 19 years give birth globally. Adolescent births account for 11% of all births globally and 23% of the overall burden of disability and diseases due to pregnancy and childbirth. In the United States, 750,000 adolescents (15-19 years) become pregnant each year, making the United States the developed country with the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy. The economic burden of adolescent pregnancy in the U. S. is $7-15 billion per year.

Adolescent pregnancy brings risks associated with pregnancy induced hypertension, preterm infants, maternal and neonatal mortality. Social factors include poverty, low educational levels, alcohol, and drug use. Between 30-50% of adolescent mothers who have a first birth before age 18 years will have a second child within 12 to 24 months. Subsequent adolescent pregnancies compound fetal and maternal risks. Many vulnerable adolescent mothers succumb to external pressures and have a repeat adolescent pregnancy while others are able to overcome the challenges of an adolescent pregnancy and prevent a repeat adolescent pregnancy.

This cross sectional survey designed study investigated the effects of resilience and social influences on contraceptive use or abstinence by Black and Hispanic adolescent parenting mothers to prevent a repeat adolescent pregnancy. 140 adolescent mothers were recruited from three postpartum units of a tertiary hospital system in Miami, Florida. The Wagnild and Young Resilience Scale and the Adolescent Social Influence Scale were used to measure resilience and social influences, respectively. Demographic data, length of labor, plan for contraceptive use or

abstinence were measured by an investigator developed instrument.

Point biserial correlation showed a significant positive correlation between Black adolescent mothers’ resilience and contraceptive use (r =.366, p2(11, N=133) = 27.08, p =.004. (OR = .28). These results indicate a need for interventional strategies to maximize resilience in parenting adolescents to prevent a repeat adolescent pregnancy.





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