Document Type

Honors Thesis


Adolescent birth is a worldwide health concern. Despite efforts to decrease the rate of adolescent births, the United States has the highest among developed nations. The focus of past research has been the risks for adolescent birth and the negative impact birth has on adolescents. However, a positive birth experience can have a positive influence on outcomes for both mother and baby in adult populations. This cross-sectional study used the resiliency framework to describe the influence of support, positive infant outcomes, childbirth class attendance, and prenatal care as external protective factors on a positive rating of the birth experience among a convenience sample of adolescent mothers ages 13-19. Data was collected using a one-item, ten point rating scale on birth appraisal and individual questions on a demographic sheet. Descriptive statistics described the sample. Spearman Rank Order Correlation Coefficient determined significant correlations and logistic regression examined the influence of variables on the study outcome, birth experience. Several correlations were found to associate with birth experience: one external protective factor, father of baby presence, and two demographic factors: parity and ethnicity. Logistic regression showed no factors or demographics to be predictive of a positive birth experience. Findings suggest the need to assess and foster social support, especially of the partner, among childbearing adolescents.

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