Skip to main content

Dataset Details

Predicting and Preventing Neglect in Teen Mothers (2001-2007)

Dataset Number: 140


John G. Borkowski
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN

Judy Carta
University of Kansas Kansas City, KS

Steven F. Warren
University of Kansas Lawrence, KS

Sharon L. Ramey
Georgetown University NW Washington, DC

Craig Ramey
Georgetown University NW Washington, DC

Kristi Guest
University of Alabama - Birmingham Birmingham, AL

Bette Keltner
Georgetown University NW Washington, DC

Robin G. Lanzi
Georgetown University NW Washington, DC

Lorraine Klerman
Brandeis University Waltham, MA


The ‘Predicting And Preventing Child Neglect In Teen Mothers’ project was designed to assess the impact of varying degrees and types of neglect and poor parenting on children’s development during the first 3 years of life, including changes in intelligence and behavior, language, social and emotional well-being, physical growth, and health status. This study included a broad array of assessments related to the construct of childhood neglect, and can be used to test the developmental associations among parenting characteristics, parenting behaviors and attitudes, and child development in multiple domains.

Six hundred and eighty-two expectant mothers were recruited during pregnancy through primary care facilities in the communities of Birmingham, AL, Kansas City, KS, South Bend, IN, and Washington, D.C. Three different groups of first-time mothers were included in the sample: adolescents (n=396), low-ed adults (less than 2 years formal education beyond high school; n=169), and hi-ed adults (at least 2 years of formal education; n=117). The mothers’ ages at child birth ranged from 14.68 to 36.28, with an average of 17.49 for the adolescents, 25.48 for the low-ed adults, and 27.88 for the hi-ed adults. Approximately 65% of the sample were African-American, 19% were White/Non-Hispanic, 15% were Hispanic, 1% were multi-racial, and .5% were of an other race. The adolescent and low-ed adult samples were closely matched on race/ethnicity.

Mothers were interviewed in their last trimester of pregnancy as well as when their children were 4, 6, 8, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36-months old. Interviews at the prenatal, 6, 12, 24, and 36-month visits primarily focused on risks for poor parenting, such as maternal depression (Beck II), parenting stress (Parenting Stress Index – Short Form), and lack of social support; parenting beliefs and practices; as well as other demographic information. The 4, 8, 18, and 30-month visits occurred in the home and included both interviews and observations of parenting practices (Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment, Supplement to the HOME for Impoverished Families, and Landry Naturalistic Observation). After each of the home visits, mothers were given a cellular phone and interviewed multiple times concerning their daily parenting practices (Parent-Child Activities Interview). At the 12, 24, and 36-months visits, the children were also tested for intellectual (Bayley II) and language abilities (Pre-School Language Scales – IV), rated on their behavior by both their mother (Infant Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment) and child tester (Bayely Behavioral Rating Scale II), and their height and weight were measured. Upon completing each assessment after the child’s birth, the interviewers also rated the child’s environment for risks of physical neglect.

This study represents one of the first-ever prospective broad-based, multi-site investigations of child neglect among a diverse sample of adolescent mothers and will help to establish a foundation for future preventive interventions to reduce the incidence and impact of neglect and abuse on child development. This data set provides a broad range of risk and protective factors to better map the multiple and fluctuating social ecologies and life circumstances of teen mothers and their young children. This dataset contains data from pre-natal to 36-months.

Please note: attachment codes, Parent-Child Activity interviews, short cell phone interviews are NOT included in this data collection.

Bibliographic Citation

Borkowski, J., Carta, J., Warren, S., Ramey, S., Guest, K., Keltner, B., … Klerman, L. (2011). Predicting and Preventing Neglect in Teen Mothers (2001-2007), Version 2 [Dataset]. National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. Https://

Data Documentation

Publications from this Dataset