The Sociocultural Context of Mexican-Origin Pregnant Adolescents’ Attitudes Toward Teen Pregnancy and Links to Future Outcomes

Sarah E. Killoren, Katharine H. Zeiders, Kimberly Updegraff, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Given the negative developmental risks associated with adolescent motherhood, it is important to examine the sociocultural context of adolescent mothers’ lives to identify those most at risk for poor outcomes. Our goals were to identify profiles of Mexican-origin pregnant adolescents’ cultural orientations and their attitudes toward teen pregnancy, and to investigate how these profiles were linked to adolescents’ pregnancy intentions, family resources, and short-term family, educational, and parenting outcomes. With a sample of 205 Mexican-origin adolescent mothers, we identified three profiles based on cultural orientations and attitudes toward teen pregnancy: Bicultural-Moderate Attitudes, Acculturated-Moderate Attitudes, and Enculturated-Low Attitudes. The results indicated that enculturated pregnant adolescents had the least favorable attitudes toward teen pregnancy, and the lowest levels of family income, pregnancy intentions, pregnancy support, and educational expectations compared to acculturated and bicultural pregnant adolescents; acculturated adolescents (with the highest family income and high levels of pregnancy support) had the highest levels of parenting efficacy 10 months postpartum. Our findings suggest that enculturated adolescent mothers (with less positive attitudes toward teen pregnancy) may benefit from educational support programs and enculturated and bicultural adolescent mothers (with moderately positive attitudes toward teen pregnancy) may benefit from programs to increase parenting efficacy. Such targeted interventions may, in turn, reduce the likelihood of adolescent mothers experiencing negative educational and parenting outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 16 2015



  • Adolescence
  • Cultural context
  • Mexican-American
  • Teen pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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