A Parenting Intervention to Improve Positive Life Skills in Teen – AAP News

We are familiar with the risk factors that can put the infant of a teenage mother
at risk, including adverse social determinants of health or simply lacking parenting
skills. Finding a way to teach teen mothers how to be better parents and at the same
time feel better about themselves is easier said than done—but fortunately Cox et
al. (10.1542/peds.2018-2303) took on that challenge in a new study being released this month.  The authors randomized
teen mothers in a teen-tot clinic to receive routine care or be enrolled in 5 interactive
parenting and life skill modules offered by a nurse or social worker in the first
15 months of an infant’s life.  The adolescent mothers were then surveyed on their
self-esteem, parenting attitudes, signs of depression, life skills and whether they
had a repeat pregnancy at 12, 24, and 36 months after enrollment.  The results are
quite promising in that mothers in the intervention group demonstrated significantly
higher self-esteem, a better relationship with their baby, and were less likely to
have a repeat pregnancy than the control population.  Not every outcome measure showed
an improvement, but there was enough positive change to warrant reading this study
and considering whether this is a program that you might want to implement in your
practice.  It is not often that such a brief office-based intervention makes such
meaningful improvements in mother and child outcomes.  Check it out and learn more.

Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics

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