Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


A Mental Health and Parenting Intervention for Adolescent and Young Adult Mothers and their Infants

Maria Muzik, Katherine Rosenblum, Melisa Schuster, Emily Stanton Kohler, Emily Alfafara and Nicole Miller

Purpose: Adolescent girls with mental illness are at heightened risk for unplanned pregnancies, which often disrupts typical psychological development, relationship formation, access to support systems, and school performance. Thus, adolescent mothers face many challenges while parenting in addition to coping with mental health concerns. Without interventions, adolescent mothers may put themselves and their children at risk and face further challenges than their non-parent or older counterparts.

Method: The Mom Power program (MP) is a treatment engagement intervention for young mothers and their children, developed through a University-Community Partnership in Michigan. The program is designed to engage young mothers in mental health services, provide developmental and parenting guidance, teach self-care skills, increase social support, and provide hands-on parenting practice.

Results: Preliminary feasibility data support MP as an effective intervention for adolescent mothers by reducing selfreported symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). MP is effective at increasing parenting competence, social support and connection to care in a high-risk population of young mothers compared to a demographically similar group of young mothers that did not complete the intervention.

Conclusion: Mom Power is a short-term attachment-based psycho-educational parenting and self-care skills group for adolescent mothers. Comprehensive models like the MP Program are vital in reaching out to the needs of young mothers and their babies in an effort to decrease mental health symptoms and increase positive parenting skills