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Psicologia em Estudo

Print version ISSN 1413-7372

Psicol. estud. vol.19 no.4 Maringá Oct./Dec. 2014 



Nancy Ramacciotti de Oliveira-Monteiro2 

Juliana Vasconcellos de Freitas2 

Maria Aznar-Farias2 

2Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Santos-SP, Brazil


Research on adolescence pregnancy (AP) indicated heterogeneity regarding to associated causes and consequences to the development of mothers and children. This paper presents the fourth stage of a longitudinal study including eight dyads (mothers / first children born in adolescence), when the children are 14 years-old. The aim of the study was to update data from dyads psychosocial conditions. The instruments used in their households were interviews, home observations, ASR, CBCL and YSR. Results indicated: mother's loss in professional and educational trajectories; relationships with the original family and the fathers which are in similar positions at the time of pregnancy; frequent references to substance use by fathers; problems between mothers/daughters relationship. Better development conditions were presented in dyads whose relations with the original family and the child's father were good. Higher difficulties were found in those dyads with problems in these relationships. The father figure is indicated as a differential element in the positive or negative condition of the dyads development (mothers and children). The continuity of the longitudinal investigation is suggested when the children are adults in order to allow the verification of possible impacts arising from AP in the long-term development trajectory

Key words: Adolescence pregnancy; longitudinal studies; family relationships


Pesquisas sobre gravidez na adolescência (GA) apontam heterogeneidade de causas associadas e consequências ao desenvolvimento das mães e filhos. Este artigo apresenta a quarta etapa de um estudo longitudinal com oito díades (mães/primeiros filhos nascidos na adolescência), no momento que os filhos têm 14 anos. O objetivo do estudo foi atualizar dados de condições psicossociais das díades. Entrevistas, observações nas moradias, ASR, CBCL e YSR foram instrumentos aplicados nas residências. Os resultados indicaram: prejuízos às trajetórias escolares e profissionais das mães; relações com a família de origem e posições paternas semelhantes às da época da gravidez; referências mais frequentes de uso de substâncias pelos pais; problemas de relacionamento entre mães e filhas. Melhores condições de desenvolvimento foram apresentadas em díades cujas relações com a família de origem e com o pai da criança foram boas. Maiores dificuldades foram verificadas naquelas díades com problemas nessas relações. A figura paterna indicou ser elemento diferencial na condição mais positiva ou negativa do desenvolvimento das díades (mães e filhos). Fica sugerida a continuidade da investigação longitudinal para quando os filhos forem adultos para permitir a verificação de possíveis impactos decorrentes da GA na trajetória de desenvolvimento em longo prazo.

Palavras-Chave: Gravidez na adolescência; estudos longitudinais; relações familiares


Investigaciones sobre embarazo en la adolescencia (EA) señalan heterogeneidad de causas asociadas y consecuencias al desarrollo de las madres e hijos. Este artículo presenta la cuarta etapa de un estudio longitudinal con ocho díadas (madres/primeros hijos nacidos en la adolescencia), en el momento que los hijos tienen 14 años. El objetivo del estudio fue actualizar los datos de las condiciones psicosociales de las díadas. Entrevistas, observaciones en los hogares, ASR, CBCL y YSR fueron instrumentos aplicados en las residencias. Los resultados indicaron: perjuicios en las trayectorias escolares y profesionales de las madres; relaciones con la familia de origen y posiciones paternas semejantes a las de la época del embarazo; referencias más frecuentes de uso de sustancias por los padres; problemas de relación entre madres/hijas. Mejores condiciones de desarrollo fueron presentadas en díadas cuyas relaciones con la familia de origen y con el padre del niño fueron buenas. Las mayores dificultades fueron verificadas en aquellas díadas con problemas en estas relaciones. La figura paterna indicó ser el elemento diferencial en la condición más positiva o negativa del desarrollo de las díadas (madres e hijos). Queda como sugerencia la continuidad de la investigación longitudinal para cuando los hijos sean adultos, permitiendo así la verificación de posibles impactos originados del EA en la trayectoria de desarrollo a largo plazo.

Palabras-clave: Embarazo en la adolescencia; estudios longitudinales; relaciones familiares

Among the research papers focused on the topic of adolescence pregnancy (AP) is often found the relationship of this event to the risks and health problems and the development for adolescent mothers and their children (Ministério da Saúde [MS] -Ministry of Health, 2010; World Health Organization [WHO], 2011). Moreover, studies have questioned and discussed the characteristically negative understanding and of prospection of inevitable problematic repercussions from an AP (Brandão & Heilborn, 2006; Cerqueira-Santos, Paludo, Schirò, & Koller, 2010; Oliveira-Monteiro, 2010). These studies emphasize the phenomenon heterogeneity, in its negative and positive aspects, and its many and varied conditions, derived in particular, from the ecological insertions of the pregnant adolescents and their mothers. Different economic, social and family conditions, and individual interact with the AP thus that it can be an important and positive event in the life of an adolescent, of the baby's father and their families, as well as it can be the cause for great concern due to associated negative derivations.

Personal characteristics, conditions of marital life and relationship with the baby´s father, support opportunities from the family and the community, as well as the quality of antenatal services are variables to be considered in terms of possible negative impacts on the conduct of the adolescent life and her son (Esteves & Menandro, 2005; Lewis & Lamb, 2003; Schwartz, Vieira, & Geib, 2011).

The methodological challenges for the examination and understanding of the processes and products of the emerging development from the occurrence of the pregnancy and the adolescent motherhood are numerous, especially when the AP occurs in social and environmental contexts of high vulnerability. Gontijo and Medeiros (2008), for example, emphasized the positive aspects of the AP in situations of high social vulnerability (adolescents living on the streets) in Brazil, such as feelings of satisfaction and opportunities for personal achievement besides emotional exchanges with her son, and comfort to loneliness and feelings of abandonment. Figueiredo, Pacheco and Magarinho (2004), in turn, highlighted problems and associated risks to the AP in adolescents from disadvantaged social strata, from Portugal, in a study that compared the AP in two economic classes. In the research there is an emphasis in very unfavorable conditions from the economic, social and developmental point of view, which may potentiate difficulties and less adequate parenting care.

Both negative and positive consequences related to the phenomenon of the AP were verified by Levandowski, Piccinini and Lopes (2008) and also by Dias and Teixeira (2010) in works of literature review on the topic, as well as Charles and Simpson (2007) who performed longitudinal study on the AP, covering a period of ten years. Positive aspects, such as the implementation of a plan of life from the pregnancy, for some adolescents, which live side by side with the problems described in the literature.

Moreover, regarding the problems of the adolescence pregnancy, the results of a comparative study among four groups of adolescents (sheltered, pregnant/mothers, full-time students and part-time students) (Oliveira-Monteiro, Nascimento, Montesano, & Aznar-Farias, 2013), indicated that the pregnant adolescents and the investigated mothers, under 15 years-old, presented difficulties regarding Competence, i.e., related to the adaptive functions that encompassed the social competence. In general, the pregnant adolescents and mothers had higher indicators of externalizing problems, those associated with the external world and with negative behavioral characteristics, as in hyperactivity, and aggressive and antisocial behavior (Liu, 2004). The comparative study also showed that these adolescents had no major indicators of internalizing problems, those focused on the inner psychological environment, as present in complaints of loneliness, anxiety and depression.

The study of the AP allows diverse perspectives covering one's understanding about the human development, personal and family dimensions, and specific issues relating to the father of the child born during the mother's adolescence. According to the ecological theory by Bronfenbrenner (2001), the human development emerges in the interactions of the individual and the environmental context, being the latter composed of interacting and interdependent systems. Such systems of the environmental context include: the system of face to face more stable relationships, as in the family (microsystem); the system formed by the set of several others face to face systems, as the school and extended family (mesosystem); the system that interacts with the development of non-presence way, as in the parents work case interacting with their child's development (exosystem); and the system of interaction that includes culture values in a given historical moment (macrosystem). From this person interaction and environmental context (composed by the micro, meso, exo and macro systems) emerging the skills development (in different domains) and also their dysfunctions (as in the case of psychological problems).

The family microsystem is extremely important to the positive development of the individual, the resources and the personal skills strengthening and the capabilities increase to face the life adversities, since its stability condition in the proximal relationships and potential field for care, support and restoration. In this microsystem, children and adolescents learn patterns of behavior from adult models, and from the interaction with control devices of their behaviors.

The action of socialization by the family is intrinsically related to the cultural context and to the environmental surroundings. As Rodrigo and Palacios (1998) recall, the peculiarities of each member of the family group shape and characterize the sharing context. These contexts are dynamic and significantly more mobilized when there are events of major impact of transition, as the birth of a child, adolescent passage, illnesses and deaths. In many familiar contexts, the common conflicts in the adolescents' socialization process, for example, often revolve around issues relating to the transition of the level of autonomy, as the freedom to use the free time or the arrival time at home. However, there are families contexts in which critical transitional events emerge, not only by the vicissitudes of the life stages, but also in a more problematic way, by the vulnerabilities inherent in the family, as in the cases of direct involvement with use/abuse/trafficking narcotics, crime, prostitution, prison conditions, beyond those losses and needs situations pertaining to the guidance and the father's presence or their substitutes.

In a literature review on the topic of fatherhood, Souza and Benetti (2009) noted the importance of the subject in studies aimed at understanding the family relationships. Among the many arrangements of the family, the father figure (not necessarily the biological father) is considered fundamental to the children development (Benczik, 2011). Manfroi, Macarini and Vieira (2011) raised issues of the human species phylogenetic history concerning the importance of parenthood when discussing the parental care and the role of the father in the child development, alongside of the considerations of historical and socioalculture contexts in orders to insert the father in the family. Also Cia et al. (2006) highlight the importance of a father figure when showing that communication among parents and children, and the parental involvement in children's lives contributes to the development of better social skills. The paternal absence has potential force to generate psychological conflicts on the child and also negative consequences for the adolescent development, as Sganzerla and Levandowski (2010). However, the quality of the maternal role and the family, social and economic environment will influence how a child will cope with the situation of the father absence, in a temporary or permanent way.

Covering aspects pertaining to issues of paternity and relationship with the original family, this study turns to the theme of the AP, in terms of the perspective of its impact on the course of the lives of adolescent mothers in situations of social vulnerability. The work is the fourth step (E4) of a longitudinal follow-up of a psychosocial research with the dyads mothers/first children born in the adolescence. The previous steps of research occurred when the children were babies (more than one and less than five months-old) (E1), they were three and a half years-old (E2) and, finally, ten years-old (E3). In these steps conditions relating to: aspects of child development and bond with him, relationship with the child's father, relationship with the mother's original family, educational and professional history, psychological complaints and substance use were investigated (Oliveira-Monteiro, 2010).

From the AP, the proposal to update the assessment of these dyads psychosocial conditions at the time the children reached adolescence characterizes a new opportunity to investigate possible impacts on the development of mothers and children, in the long run, in their life trajectories. Thus, the aim of the study is to present the update of the dyads psychosocial conditions, specifically regarding: schooling and vocational training, psychological aspects, living situation, substance use, relationship with the original family, and fatherhood conditions.


The longitudinal study includes quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches. This mixed design sought to create conditions for expanding the survey in the face of this present wealth in the psychosocial conditions investigated.


The research was developed with eight dyads, composed by eight mothers and their firstborn children who were born in their mothers' adolescence. The participants had been assisted at a public prenatal care for adolescents in the city of Santos (SP), which included a proposal for a multidisciplinary comprehensive care to pregnant adolescents, including specialized prenatal, care for the adolescent family and to the child's father, guidelines for the growth of new roles associated with the motherhood and the childbirth and the puerperium period monitoring. In this service, the pregnant adolescents were screened by the staff from two criteria which were indicative of risk factors: young age (under 16 years-old) and social vulnerability situation, characterized by poverty, damages in the relationship with the original family (including situations of expulsion from home), and difficulty in housing. The eight adolescents' mothers surveyed in the longitudinal study (hereinafter referred as AL, AM, AR, BI, DAN, EL, NA and TH) were invited to participate in the survey at the end of their last puerperium visit, when the baby was between one and two months-old in 1997, constituting a sample non-probabilistic and composed by the accessibility, intent and convenience criteria. In the first meeting to obtain data from the starting study (E1), the mothers were aged among 15 and 16 years-old, and their children were aged among one and four months-old.

Some of these mothers (AM, AR, DAN, BI, NA and TH) who were longitudinally assessed had other children after the first child, born in the adolescence and accompanied during the investigation. AR had four more children; AM and TH had three more children; BI, NA and DAN had another child. EL and AL mothers had no other children.

In the Table 1 data is showed from E4 on investigated dyads as follows: age (the dates of the first interview), Brazil Criterion results (on the economic situation) and educational levels.

Table 1 Participants data in E4: Ages, Brazil Criterion, Total Number of Children and School Grade 


The instruments used in the research included:

  1. Critério de Classificação Econômica Brasil/CCEB - Economic Classification Brazil Criterion - (Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Pesquisa [ABEP] - Brazilian Association of Research Companies, 2011) - used to classification into economic classes (listed from the top to the bottom, as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D and E) from a survey of household characteristics (presence and amount of certain comfort items and the household head education level). The instrument was used in order to characterize the sample.

  2. Housing and their surroundings observation - it was held throughout the longitudinal study to obtain the home general environmental conditions and its surroundings (including information relating to the safety of the neighborhood), and factors relating to the interpersonal relationships that were expressed over the application of the instruments. The housing observation was recorded directly on a daily observation after the relevant research visits, with indicators that contained a list of points to be checked and evaluated qualitatively: the surrounding conditions and the housing situation, relations among the family members in the observer presence, and their relationship with the observer.

  3. Autobiographical free speech interview (Rodrigues, 1978) - it consisted of a semi-open interview with the mothers, started with the proposal of a free speech about his own life, then a survey made by the interviewer on thematic axes followed by the longitudinal study that included: aspects of the child's development and bond with him, relationship with the child's father, relationship with the mother original family, educational and professional trajectory, psychological complaints, and substance use. This interview held two or three meetings, and finalized by the saturation criterion, when the data showed redundancy or repetition. The material of the interview sessions was taped for later transcription. It was used the content analysis method by Bardin (2011) in order to analyze the material of the free speech thorough reading of the material and recording of the units of meaning that allowed the categorization into thematic groupings.

  4. The ASR (Adult Self-Report), CBCL (Child Behavior Check List) and YSR (Youth Self-Report) are inventories of ASEBA self-application battery (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2004) used for standardized descriptions in two dimensions: competence/adaptive functioning (social area), and emotional/behavioral problems (internalizing and externalizing) as well as the assessment of substances use. The items of these instruments are presented in the three points Likert scale, and others in open questions. The quantitative data of these instruments is treated by the Assessment Data Manager Program (ADM) software which allows the classification into three groups: 1) clinic (clinical concerns indicative), 2) borderline (likely intervention needs indicator), and 3) no clinical (investigated resources and strong points indicator). The CBCL had the Brazilian preliminary validation by Bordin, Mari and Caeiro (1995); the YSR was validated for the Brazilian population by Rocha (2012); and the multicultural validation of the ASR is being conducted in Brazil by a team of researchers, including Rocha, Gauy, & Silvares (2012). The applications made with the mothers, of the ASR (about themselves) and of the CBCL (about their children), occurred during E3 and E4 stages, and the YSR was used with the children (self-reference) in E4 step.


Just as in previous moments of a longitudinal sequence, the data entry and the instruments application occurred during three to four meetings in the surveyed mothers homes at intervals of about a week, at combined times among the researcher, the first author of this article, and the study participants. The instruments were always applied in the houses rooms' spaces, being present at that time, only the applicator and the investigated person. At all the stages (E1/1997, E2/2001, E3/2007 and E4 2011) there were difficulties to meet the investigated dyads, due to various changes of addresses to other neighborhoods and cities. In the first stage of the study, the research was carried out with an initial sample of 12 dyads; from the second stage on, there was a reduction in the number to eight dyads, a consequence of the contact loss with four mothers. Maintaining this number demanded significant efforts related to reunion of the eight dyads that have been followed, in order to ensure the longitudinal study viability.


Table 2 shows the quantitative results of the step E4, relative to nonclinical (normal) borderline and clinic of the group, from the ASR scores (mothers self-reference), CBCL (children mother evaluating) and YSR (children self-reference), for evaluating competence (children) and indicative of adaptive social functioning (mothers), and also for the assessment of internalizing (emotional) and externalizing (behavioral) problems of the investigated dyads.

Table 2 Results of the ASR, CBCL, YSR at the current stage of longitudinal follow-up (E4) 

According to Table 2, regarding mothers self-reference (through ASR), difficulties were verified concerning adaptive functioning in four cases (AL, AR, EL and TH), internalizing problems in four cases (AL, AM, AR and EL) and externalizing problems in three cases (AL, AM, EL).

The assessment of children, made by the mothers (through the CBCL), indicated difficulties in competence in two cases (AL and AM), internalizing problems in two cases (AM and AR) and externalizing problems in four cases (AL, AM, BI and EL). This data was not coincident with the children self-assessment (through the YSR), in which difficulties of competence in three cases (AM, AR and DAN), internalizing problems in three cases (AL, AR, and EL), and externalizing problems in two cases (AM and EL) were observed.

The dyads that had problems from the three instruments evaluation (ASR, CBCL and YSR) were those that the father's presence was not counted (AM, AR and EL cases). Children externalizing problems were most frequently reported by mothers than reported by their children; as the children internalizing problems were mentioned more by themselves than by their mothers.

Qualitative results

About housing situation - Problems relating to environmental conditions of the homes for insertion in areas of prostitution and / or strong presence of crime / narcotics trafficking were found in almost all the cases (except TH case) on E4, as well as the housing instability (AL, AM, AR, DAN and NA). In comparison with earlier stages of the study, where there was the father's presence, improved quality and comfort of houses indoors were observed, indicating some improvement in the economic situation. All the dyads (mothers/first children) were still living together in the same house, though in one case (DAN), the son sometimes stayed living with grandparents and / or aunts. Regarding the previous step (E3), there was a change of address in many cases (AL, AM, AR, DAN and EL) as a consequence of a very affected relationship with the children's father.

On fathers of children interaction and paternity conditions - The status of the child´s father in his interaction with the studied dyads was analyzed by positivity or negativity indicators. The negativity condition was characterized by the absence or severely presence undermined by elements associated with crime, drugs trafficking, a history of arrests and / or domestic violence. These adverse conditions were observed in several cases (AL, AM, AR, DAN and EL). It is noteworthy that two of these parents were under 18 at the time of the occurrence of the AP (AM and DAN). In one case (AL), in the earlier stages of the study (E1, E2 and E3), it was referred that the child´s father was an adolescent and had died; in E4, the mother corrected this information, stating that the child was the result of a sexual relationship in prostitution, at the time she was an adolescent and the man, an adult. Positivity conditions on the figure of the child's father (PP) were inferred by the father stability presence (stay in the family constituted by the investigated dyad, with the developing of care roles and child protection and stable relationship with the child's mother/adolescent) without higher frequency and / or intensity of negative elements in everyday interaction. These positive conditions on the father were present in three of the cases evaluated (BI, NA and TH).

In E1 (newborn time), the fathers had diverse positions related to the presence and the support. At that time, in three cases (AL, DAN and EL) babies´ fathers were absent; the other five surveyed adolescents mothers were living with the child's father (AM, AR, BI, NA, and TH cases), a position maintained in four of these cases (AM, BI, NA and TH) until E4 (children adolescence stage).

Education and professionalism profiles - The profile of maternal education was marked by instability and loss, which was the case even before the occurrence of the AP (AL, AR, AM, BI and DAN cases). The situation of E4, when mothers were close to 30 years-old, remained close to the school progress conditions achieved in the previous longitudinal step, although toned by attempts to return to school. Only in one case, TH entered higher education, but she gave up. The other cases showed mothers' school progress until the following degrees: incomplete basic education (AL, AR and DAN), full basic education (AM and NS) and full high school (BI and EL). The more personal concerns cited by mothers were related to the aspects of schooling and professional career, the latter indicated also with instability features, in E4. The occupations included mothers 'casual work', freelance jobs (hairdresser, selling food) and prostitution (in one case). Only one of the mothers (TH), who came to higher education (incomplete), reported an entrepreneurial professional situation, having a standalone work of parties' animation.

Regarding children education, there were references to failures (AL, AM, EL, DAN, and TH cases). The reasons reported by the children mothers ranging from child lack of attention (AL and TH) and excess of changes of address (DAN, EL and AM). The mothers concerns regarding education of the children went through the issues of failure and low performance. The adolescents reported concerns regarding school performance, but also to interpersonal relationships with peers at school.

Relationship with mother original family - Three of the cases studied were indicative of difficulties in the relationship between the mother and her original family, specifically with his own mother, which already happened before the pregnancy (AL, AM and EL). In E4, these difficulties were still present, and in two of these cases (EL and AL), the dyads (mother-adolescent child) were living in the grandparents house. Family difficulties prior to the AP spanned alcohol problems of the parental figures (AL and TH cases), prostitution situation (AL case), sexual abuse (AL, AR and TH cases), and big conflicts related to the mother relationship (AL and AM cases).

Substances use - With respect to the mothers, there was one reference (AL case) to alcohol and marijuana abuse, cocaine and 'capsules' use; and tobacco abuse and marijuana use by another mother (AR case ). Regarding fathers, referrals involvement with drugs (abusive use and trafficking) were indicated in three cases (AM, AR and EL). There were indications of alcohol use at parties (nightlife) by two of the surveyed adolescents (AM and BI cases).

Data on the adolescents children and relationship aspects with the mother - Two cases (AL and AM) showed indicative of larger problems in mothers and adolescents daughters relationships, a different situation from the observed in the earlier stages of the research (when their daughters were children), in which there was no more expressive manifestations of conflict in these relationships. In one of these cases (AL), there was reference on the female teenager involved in theft, besides home escape; in the other case (AM), there was reference of vandalism behaviors of the female adolescent. In other cases, less conflictive conditions in mothers and their adolescent children relationship were configured (five boys and one girl) with more frequent expressions of positive affection, care and appreciation, in a dyad interaction not marked by major conflicts.

A greater awareness of children psychological problems, according to the mothers, turned to the externalizing problems, probably due to the nature of these problems in their behavioral manifestations. Yet, children internalizing problems were less reported by the mothers, even in cases of the children self-reference, which may suggest difficulties in communication of these adolescents on complaints about internal psychological aspects. Mothers concerns regarding their children included thoughts about the possibility of maternity/paternity during the adolescence (AL, AM and TH), fears of experiencing some form of violence (AR and NA) or involvement with drugs and trafficking (BI, DAN and NA). All the children performed domestic tasks such as cleaning and tidying the house and care for younger siblings. Most of the leisure activities of the surveyed children were related to hobbies involving technology (video games, computer games), indicating conditions for digital inclusion.


Similar to this research, other prospective and longitudinal studies on adolescence pregnancy (Charles & Simpson, 2007; Esteves & Menandro, 2005; Shaw, Lawlor, & Najman, 2006) agree that a potential problem on the human development from the maternity in the adolescence is due to multiple factors, including those emerging from the interactions of the adolescent mothers and their family and social contexts. From the perspective of this study, regarding these contexts, it is highlighted the most positive or most damaged conditions of the relationship with the child´s father and with the mother original family, especially her own mother, as well as the adverse housing conditions in terms of greater proximity to narcotics trafficking.

Within the limits of research, the AP did not appear directly related to the emergence of major emotional problems and / or behavioral in those dyads that possessed positive conditions in interaction with the child's father in the family microsystem (BI, NA and TH). These dyads, which involved case of couples (cohabiting with the child's father) since the AP, with a positive paternal presence and support from the original family, particularly maternal grandmother, presented the best indicators in assessments, particularly in two cases with fewer children born after the firstborn (BI and NA had another child, and TH had three more children). In these three cases, the economic condition when the children were already in the adolescence (E4) was also the best of the whole sample. Novellino (2010) states that the greater or lesser vulnerability of the adolescent mothers is given mainly by the household income, which in these three cases may have been higher by the marriage situation and the positivity of the father's figure.

On the other hand, in the monitored cases in which there was cohabitation/marriage with the child´s father at the time of the mother adolescence, but the father was involved with crime and drugs (use, abuse and trafficking, in addition to periods of incarceration - AM and AR cases), there was great uncertainty and instability for housing over the course of 14 years of research, and there were not more positive aspects of the dyads development. In one case (AM), there was also a history of major difficulties in the relationships with the original family, particularly with the maternal grandmother. Thus, although the father´s absence has potential to generate psychological conflicts in children and adolescents (Sganzerla & Levandowski, 2010), a father's presence marked by negativity in some of the cases investigated in this study was also associated with problems (emotional / behavioral order) in the children development.

In the dyads where there was lack / ignorance and neglect of the father (AL and EL cases), emotional/behavioral problems in the dyad were indicated, even under unfavorable economic conditions (EL case) and cohabitation with the original family. The situation of the relationship with the child´s father at the time of the AP eventually crystallizes in the child trajectory to adolescence. The fathers, who were absent, remained so (AL, DAN, and EL cases) as the situation of those fathers who were involved with crime and drugs (AR and AM cases). The fathers with positive family presence (BI, NA, and TH cases), at the time of the AP, remained in the same way when the kids were in their adolescence, although there were some crises in the marital relationship.

Schwartz et al. (2011) reported that the own mothers (children grandmothers) and their partners are realized as the main sources of support during the adolescents pregnancy. In this study, the worst indicators of psychological problems and difficulties related to the development resource (adaptive functions and competence) were presented where there were conjunction of paternity negative condition with relationship difficulties among the adolescent mother and her own mother and her original family (AL, AM and EL cases) - relevant to micro and mesosystems environmental problems, the fundamental relationships face to face for the positivity of the development.

Among the three cases marked by difficulties over the mother's relationship with her own mother (AL, AM and EL), two of them expressed difficulties in the relationship during the children's adolescence - in the cases where the age of the female adolescents (AL and AM) were coincident with the mothers when happened the AP.

Problems in school and professional development continued to be present in all the investigated mothers, especially in three of them (AL, AR, and DAN), cases marked by difficulties in the support, both by the original family and by the absent child's father (AL and DAN cases) or involved in crime and incarceration status ( AR case). The investigated mother that reached the highest academic degree and who came to enter higher education (TH case) had had three other children besides the firstborn, but she could count on a stable marital status and support from the original family (mother). This data can once again highlight the importance of the combination of family support, from the original family and marital status to promote the development of the adolescent mother. This positive combination seemed a protective element in front of the potential negative impacts of the AP, also for the school history.


Understanding, from the ecological theory of development, that adaptive functions and dysfunctions emerge from the interactions of people with their environmental systems in a reciprocal way, in which people influence their environments and are influenced by them, it can be considered that the AP consequences are results of such interactions, from the most proximal to those pertaining to the culture myths and values.

The survey of psychosocial conditions of the investigated dyads, which was the aim of this work, showed best conditions in the dyads where the face to face systems had positive characterization, both with the original family and with the child's father relationships. The indicators of losses associated to adaptive functions and development dysfunctions, as emotional/behavioral problems, appeared in the dyads in which there were negative interactions with the father figure in conjunction with difficulties with the original family.

The further longitudinal research is suggested to check the future development of these children, also allowing the verification of their perceptions, in adult life, about being children of adolescent mothers.


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1Support: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP).

Received: May 18, 2014; Accepted: October 27, 2014

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