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Christopher, Suzanne E.; Bauman, Karl E.; & Veness-Meehan, Kathleen (2000). Perceived Stress, Social Support, and Affectionate Behaviors of Adolescent Mothers with Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 14(6), 288-296.


Introduction: This article focuses on affectionate behaviors of adolescent mothers with their infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Hypotheses derived from behavioral science theory posited the direct influence of social support and perceived stress on affectionate behaviors, the statistical interaction of social support and perceived stress on affectionate behaviors, and perceived stress as a mediator of the relationship between social support and affectionate behaviors.
Method: Subjects were enrolled from July 1993 through September 1994. Information about perceived stress and social support was obtained twice by means of an interview. Affectionate behaviors were measured by NICU nurse observations. Analyses were conducted on subsamples ranging from 57 to 107 subjects.
Results: All hypotheses were rejected. Neither social supports nor perceived stress were related to affectionate behaviors, and no statistical interactions among the 3 variables were identified.
Discussion: The findings are considered in the context of the methodology used, stress and social support theory, and implications for practice and future research.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Pediatric Health Care


Christopher, Suzanne E.
Bauman, Karl E.
Veness-Meehan, Kathleen