"A Little Bit Closer": A Mixed Method Analysis of the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Lives of Adolescent Parents

Using a Family Stress Model framework, we used quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the impact of the pandemic on Latinx pregnant and parenting adolescents and their families. Participants were 406 adolescents (ages 14–19) in the southwestern U.S. who participated in a school-based relationship education program for pregnant and parenting adolescents. In the quantitative analysis, we compared self-reported mental health (depressive symptoms, worry, parental stress), coparental relationships (conflict and communication), and parenting of adolescents who participated prior to the pandemic (N = 357; 83.6% female; 84.7% Latinx) with those who participated during the pandemic (N = 49; 74.6% female; 87.8% Latinx). Unexpectedly, the pandemic-period cohort reported fewer depressive symptoms, less parental stress, more frequent coparental communication, and more positive coparental communication and conflict management than the pre-pandemic cohort. For the qualitative analysis, we conducted focus groups and individual interviews with 21 adolescent parents (95.2% female; 90.5% Latinx) from the pandemic-period cohort and analyzed the data using thematic analysis. Participants reported many negative effects of the pandemic including increased economic and health stress, yet also discussed reduced pressure with school and more time with family members. These findings have important implications for enhancing the well-being of adolescent parents and their children after the pandemic.



Work Title "A Little Bit Closer": A Mixed Method Analysis of the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Lives of Adolescent Parents
Open Access
  1. Shelby A. Astle
  2. Jeneé C. Duncan
  3. Michelle L. Toews
  4. Norma J. Perez-Brena
  5. Paige McAllister
  6. Molly A. Maddy
  7. Mark E. Feinberg
  1. Adolescent parents
  2. COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Latinx
  4. Mixed methods
  5. Adjustment
  6. Well-being
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Adolescent Research
Publication Date December 27, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. doi.org/10.1177/07435584211062116
Deposited August 10, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Updated
  • Added Creator Shelby A. Astle
  • Added Creator Jeneé C. Duncan
  • Added Creator Michelle L. Toews
  • Added Creator Norma J. Perez-Brena
  • Added Creator Paige McAllistar
  • Added Creator Molly A. Maddy
  • Added Creator MARK E FEINBERG
  • Added Astle et al. A Little Bit Closer 2022.pdf
  • Updated Publisher Identifier (DOI), License Show Changes
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    • 10.1177/07435584211062116
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
  • Updated License Show Changes
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publisher, Publisher Identifier (DOI), and 1 more Show Changes
    • Adolescent parents, COVID-19 pandemic, Latinx, Mixed methods, Adjustment, Well-being
    • Journal of Adolescent Research
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    • 10.1177/07435584211062116
    • doi.org/10.1177/07435584211062116
    Publication Date
    • 2021
    • 2021-12-27
  • Renamed Creator Paige McAllister Show Changes
    • Paige McAllistar
    • Paige McAllister
  • Renamed Creator Mark E. Feinberg Show Changes
    • Mark E. Feinberg