Some studies of physical abuse, in particular, reveal that teenage mothers exhibit higher rates of child abuse than older mothers do. Other factors such as lower economic status, lack of social support, and high stress levels contribute to the link between young parents and child abuse. Resources include State and local examples.
Child Abuse and Adolescent Parenting: Developing a Theoretical Model from an Ecological Perspective
Journal of Aggression Maltreatment and Trauma, 14(3), 2007
Reviews established theories on child abuse, abusive parenting, and adolescent parenting to synthesize a proposed child abuse and adolescent parenting model.
Physical Abuse of Children Born to Adolescent Mothers: The Continuation of the Relationship Into Adult Motherhood and the Role of Identity
Afifi & Brownridge (2008)
In Child Abuse and Violence
Examines teen mothers and their relationships with the child welfare system after they enter adulthood to determine if their children are still at a greater risk of child maltreatment than children who are not born to teen mothers. Results support the hypothesis that children of teen mothers are more likely to experience child abuse and neglect.
The Potential for Child Neglect: The Case of Adolescent Mothers and Their Children
Lounds, Borkowski, & Whitman
Child Maltreatment, 11(3), 2006
Assesses 100 teen-mother–child dyads to determine causes for child maltreatment. Results show that histories of maternal neglect and the quality of interactions between mother and child were indicators of neglect during middle childhood.
Consequences of Teen Childbearing for Child Abuse, Neglect and Foster Care Placement
Goerge, Harden, & Lee (2008, 2nd ed.)
In Kids Having Kids: Economic Costs and Social Consequences of Teen Pregnancy
Compares literature on teen childbearing with maltreatment. Data from Illinois indicated that early childbearing resulted in more substantiated reports to child welfare agencies and having children in the foster care system for longer periods of time.
Is My Baby Safe?: Straight Talk to Teen Parents on Child Abuse and Neglect (PDF - 264 KB)
Public Counsel Law Center (2008)
Provides information for teen parents on what could cause them to harm their child. The brochure includes a definition of child abuse and neglect, mandating reporting, and the investigation procedure for Los Angeles County, California.
Teenage Births: Outcomes for Young Parents and Their Children (PDF - 4587 KB)
Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (2008)
Provides information on data from New York on teen births and negative outcomes for children of teen parents. Results include higher rates of child abuse and neglect.