Pregnancy Intention and Positive Parenting Behaviors Among First-Time Mothers: The Importance of Mothers’ Contexts

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Department or Administrative Unit

Family and Consumer Sciences

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Mothers and children often experience negative outcomes following unintended pregnancies. The current study examined for whom and under what conditions unintended pregnancy was associated with negative outcomes among a sample of 682 first-time mothers, recruited as part of the Predicting and Preventing Child Neglect in Teen Mothers study. Specifically, maternal demographic characteristics were examined as moderators of the association between pregnancy intention and parenting behaviors when children were 18 months old. Results revealed that unintended pregnancy was associated with fewer positive parenting behaviors; however, both maternal race and education moderated the association. Among mothers who identified as Black or Hispanic, those who intended to get pregnant were less likely to demonstrate positive parenting behaviors, and those with less education tended to demonstrate fewer positive parenting behaviors regardless of pregnancy intention. Implications for research, prevention, and intervention are discussed.


This article was originally published in Journal of Family Issues. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Family Issues


© The Author(s) 2015