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Effects of a Prenatal Care Intervention on the Self-Concept and Self-Efficacy of Adolescent Mothers

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The objective of this study was to examine changes in self-concept and self-efficacy during the childbearing year among adolescent mothers (defined as young mothers up to age 20) who were involved in a behavioral intervention. Subjects included a sample of 282 urban, pregnant adolescents (94% African American, 4% white, 2% other). The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS) was used to measure self-concept. A scale to measure the self-efficacy of the adolescent mother during the childbearing year was developed and evaluated. Questionnaires were administered during intake for prenatal care and in the postpartum period. In the larger study, the intervention was a peer-centered, mastery modeling intervention designed to increase self-efficacy, improve self-concept, and improve long- and short-term perinatal outcomes. The results in this portion of the data showed that self-concept increased significantly for young women in the experimental group but did not change significantly for young women in the control group. Changes were noted in the TSCS for overall self-concept as well as for several subscores, including identity, self-satisfaction, behavior, the personal self, the family self, and the social self. However, differences between groups did not reach significance once age, parity, site, and time were accounted for, except on TSCS subscales of identity and personal self. Between intake for prenatal care and postpartum, self-efficacy changed significantly for both the experimental and the control groups. Both groups increased in self-efficacy for labor and delivery and decreased in self-efficacy for infant care. In this group of mostly African American teens, peer support and small group care demonstrated positive effects on self-concept. Professional and peer interactions were equally associated in intervention and nonintervention groups with regard to self-efficacy.
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Keywords: adolescent pregnancy; self-concept; self-efficacy

Document Type: Standard Article

Affiliations: 1: KATHLEEN FORD is a Research Scientist in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 2: PAULETTE HOYER, the principal investigator of this study, was a faculty member at the College of Nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She worked for many years in teaching, research, and practice related to obstetrics and gynecology. She passed away before this study was completed. 3: LINDA WEGLICKI is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at Wayne State University. 4: TRACE KERSHAW is a Social Psychologist interested in health psychology. He is also a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. 5: CHERYL SCHRAM is a Project Director at the Center for Health Research in the College of Nursing at Wayne State University. 6: MARY JACOBSON was a practicing Nurse Practitioner in obstetrics and gynecology and an Adjunct Faculty Member of the College of Nursing at Wayne State University. She has now retired.

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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