Effects of reproductive coercion on young couples' parenting behaviors and child development: A dyadic perspective

Tiara C. Willie, Kamila A. Alexander, Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, Trace Kershaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A growing number of studies have demonstrated a strong association between reproductive coercion and unintended pregnancy among adolescent and young adult females. However, few studies have examined how a pregnancy resulting from an experience of reproductive coercion affects parenting and the child's development. To address this gap in the current literature, the present study sought to examine the effect of reproductive coercion on parenting competence, caregiving involvement, and child development at 6- and 12-months postpartum using a dyadic perspective. The data were collected from a prospective cohort study of 296 pregnant adolescent females and their male partners (N = 592 participants), who were followed from pregnancy to 12-months postpartum. The Actor Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was used to examine the effects of an individual's (actor) and their partner's (partner) experience of reproductive coercion on parenting competence, caregiving involvement, and child development. Generalized Estimating Equations were performed to test associations between reproductive coercion and parenting outcomes. An actor's experience of reproductive coercion was significantly associated with lower parenting sense of competence 12-months postpartum. Our findings suggest that reproductive coercion may interfere with adolescents' transition into parenthood. Programs should consider reproductive coercion as a possible form of trauma and adopt activities that aim to mitigate its effects on children of adolescent and young adult parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-689
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Child development
  • Couples
  • Family systems
  • Parenting
  • Reproductive coercion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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