Academic performance, educational aspiration and birth outcomes among adolescent mothers: a national longitudinal study

Xie, Y.,
Harville, E. W.,
Madkour, A. S.
Published: January, 2014
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume: 14

Issue: Article #3
BioMed Central

These authors explored whether academic performance and educational aspiration influence birth outcomes among adolescent mothers, using data from Waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Adolescent girls whose first pregnancy occurred during their adolescence and ended with a singleton live birth (n = 763) were included. Adolescents’ grade point average (GPA), experience of ever skipping a grade and ever repeating a grade, and aspiration to attend college were examined as predictors of birth outcomes (birthweight and gestational age). Among Black adolescents, those who ever skipped a grade had higher offspring’s birthweight. Among non-Black adolescents, ever skipping a grade was associated with both birth outcomes and higher educational aspiration was associated with higher offspring’s birthweight. GPA was not associated with either birth outcome. The addition of smoking during pregnancy and prenatal care visit into the multivariable models did not change these associations. Findings suggest that investing in improving educational opportunities may improve birth outcomes among teenage mothers. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Emily Wheeler Harville, Department of Epidemiology, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, SL-18, New Orleans, LA 70114; E-mail:, Website:
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