Father-daughter relationship and teen pregnancy: an examination of adolescent females raised in homes without biological fathers
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The aim of this dissertation was to further our knowledge of the processes underlying teenage pregnancy among adolescent females who are reared in “absent-father” homes (i.e., in homes without the biological father), a population at heightened risk for pregnancy. For this population, I hypothesized that the biological father-daughter relationship quality (FDRQ) as well as the stepfather-daughter relationship quality (SFDRQ) would predict the likelihood of teenage pregnancy, after controlling for sociodemographic risk factors and other known correlates of teen pregnancy. Further, based on the theory of “Father Hunger” (Fraiberg, 1959), two measures of need for intimacy (motivation to engage in sex and desire for a romantic relationship) were hypothesized to mediate the relationship between both FDRQ and SFDRQ and teenage pregnancy. Data were drawn from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health, Harris et al., 2009). The sample included 2,829 adolescent females whose biological father left their home prior to age 13, and approximately 12% of the sample (312) experienced a teenage pregnancy. All predictor, control, and mediator variables were measured at the onset of the study (Wave I) when the adolescents were between ages 11 and 21. Teenage pregnancy was recorded at Wave III which was collected seven years later. Results from a series of mixed multilevel logistic regressions did not support either hypothesis. The discussion focuses on potential reasons why the hypotheses were not supported in addition to considering several interesting findings including the lack of empirical multidimensionality in the measurement of FDRQ and the inverse relationship between age and pregnancy.
Table of Contents
Overview -- Literature review -- Method -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Table of variables -- Appendix B. Multicollinearity information for variables