Exploring factors related to parenting competence among Navajo teenage mothers: Dual techniques of inquiry

Rochelle L. Dalla, Wendy C. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


There exists a need for a comprehensive understanding of adolescent parenting, especially the analysis of cross-ethnic populations. To date, examinations have included primarily Euro-American, followed by African-American, and Hispanic-American populations (Wasserman, Rauh, Brunelli, Garcia-Castro, & Necos, 1990). Despite high rates of teenage parenting on the Navajo Reservation, no investigations of this population exist. In this manuscript, two studies exploring adolescent parenting among Navajo adolescent women are described. The first investigation included Navajo adolescent mothers living in a rural, Navajo Reservation community. This investigation was based on the tenets of the Process Model of Parenting Competence (Belsky, Robins, & Gamble, 1984), and employed quantitative techniques to explore factors posited as predicting parenting competence among adult and adolescent populations. Correlational analyses revealed associations in the expected directions suggesting the variables posited by the model are associated in the hypothesized ways for a young native group. A follow-up, qualitative investigation was conducted with a comparable sample of American Indian Navajo adolescent mothers. Interviews focused on factors posited by Belsky et al. (1984) for determining parenting behavior and revealed significant within group differences. Suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1997


  • Adolescent parenting
  • American indian
  • Navajo reservation
  • Parenting competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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