Online Program

Parenting Behaviors among Adolescent and Young Couples: The Critical Role of Polyvictimization

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Tiara Willie, M.A., Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Adeya Powell, PhD, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Tamora Callands, PhD, Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Jessica Lewis, LMFT, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Trace S. Kershaw, Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Background: Transitioning into parenthood can be difficult for adolescent parents who experienced violence victimization. Previous research has shown that experiences of child abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV) can impact parenting. Although one in five children experience polyvictimization, experiencing multiple types of violence victimization (e.g., IPV, stranger violence, family violence, peer violence), the impact of polyvictimization among adolescent and young couples has been unexplored. The current study examined patterns of polyvictimization for adolescent and young parents; and its association with parenting behaviors and involvement.

Methods: Data were collected from 592 expectant adolescents and their partners (N = 296 couples) between 2007 and 2011 as part of a longitudinal study. Participants were recruited at obstetrics and gynecology clinics and an ultrasound clinic in four university-affiliated hospitals. At baseline, participants provided data on violence victimization and sociodemographics. Parenting outcomes were reported at 6 months postpartum. 

Results: Results from two latent class analyses showed three-class models for both women and men, with latent classes being described by the probabilities of the polyvictimization. The classes of women were: (1) No Violence; (2) Stranger Violence/Prior IPV; and the (3) Prior IPV /Peer Violence. The classes of men were: (1) No Violence; (2) Prior IPV; and (3) High Polyvictimization. Results from ANOVAs revealed that men in the High Polyvictimization class were less likely to be involved in raising the child (p = 0.004) and had more negative parenting experiences at postpartum (p = 0.002). Women in Prior IPV/Peer Violence class were more likely to have negative parenting experiences (p = 0.005), and low partner involvement in parenting (p = 0.01). 

Conclusions: Polyvictimization plays an important role in how adolescent parents transition into parenthood. Policy and intervention development should be sensitive to the intersection between polyvictimization and parenting, particularly among adolescents.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify groups of adolescents based on experiences of polyvictimization. Explain the relationship between polyvictimization and parenting behaviors among adolescents. Define the importance of addressing polyvictimization in order to inform parenting interventions, research, and policy.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Violence & Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have supported multiple federally-funded research projects focusing on the implications of violence victimization, mental health disorders, and sexual health outcomes. My research interests have been focused on social determinants of gender-based violence and its impact on the mental, sexual, and reproductive health of marginalized populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.