Self-competence mediates earlier and later anxiety in adolescent mothers: A 3-year longitudinal perspective

Virginia L. Schiefelbein, Elizabeth J. Susman, Lorah D. Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Anxiety is prevalent in adolescents and may be particularly problematic in pregnant adolescents. The purpose of this structural equation modeling analysis was to test a biobehavioral model in which postpartum self-competence mediated pathways from anxiety and cortisol during pregnancy to anxiety 3 years later. Self-reports of anxiety and self-competence and salivary cortisol samples were obtained from 78 healthy primiparous and 57 nonpregnant comparison adolescent girls matched for age and socio-economic status. Assessments were done during the first half of pregnancy, 3-4 weeks after childbirth, and at a 3-year follow up. For pregnant girls, linkages from initial anxiety to self-competence to follow-up anxiety were significant and negative, as hypothesized. Direct and indirect pathways between initial and follow-up anxiety were significant. Cortisol levels did not predict self-competence or anxiety. For nonpregnant adolescents, the model fit poorly. Findings suggest self-competence may play a mediating role in young mothers' anxiety across time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-655
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-competence mediates earlier and later anxiety in adolescent mothers: A 3-year longitudinal perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this