A developmental approach to prevention research: Configural antecedents of early parenthood

Scott D. Gest, Joseph L. Mahoney, Robert B. Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A developmental framework emphasizing the combined impact of correlated constraints within and without the individual was applied to a prospective longitudinal study of early parenthood. The purpose was to use a person-approach to the analysis of longitudinal data to clarify risk for early parenthood and to generate hypotheses about potentially useful intervention strategies Respondents were 475 youth who were assessed annually from seventh grade through the end of high school and, again, at ages 20 and 24. The risk patterns associated with parenthood were the same for both sexes. Individuals with a middle-school configuration of low socioeconomic status, high aggression low academic skills, low popularity, and prior grade failure were most likely to become parents by early adulthood. Risk for early parenthood increased substantially for respondents who dropped out of school early, regardless of their initial risk status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-565
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A developmental approach to prevention research: Configural antecedents of early parenthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this