A developmental approach to prevention research: configural antecedents of early parenthood

Am J Community Psychol. 1999 Aug;27(4):543-65. doi: 10.1023/A:1022185312277.


A developmental framework emphasizing the combined impact of correlated constraints within and without the individual was applied to a prospective longitudinal study of early parenthood. The purpose was to use a person-approach to the analysis of longitudinal data to clarify risk for early parenthood and to generate hypotheses about potentially useful intervention strategies. Respondents were 475 youth who were assessed annually from seventh grade through the end of high school and, again, at ages 20 and 24. The risk patterns associated with parenthood were the same for both sexes. Individuals with a middle-school configuration of low socioeconomic status, high aggression, low academic skills, low popularity, and prior grade failure were most likely to become parents by early adulthood. Risk for early parenthood increased substantially for respondents who dropped out of school early, regardless of their initial risk status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illegitimacy / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Identification
  • Social Problems / prevention & control*
  • Social Problems / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Student Dropouts
  • Time Factors
  • United States