Parenting for the First Time


Principal Investigators: John Borkowski, Ph.D. ; Sharon Ramey, Ph.D., Georgetown University; Craig Ramey, Ph.D., Georgetown University; Judy Carta, Ph.D., University of Kansas; Steve Warren, Ph.D., University of Kansas

Co-Investigators: Jennifer Burke Lefever, Ph.D.; Robin Lanzi, Ph.D. Georgetown University; Kristi Guest, Ph.D., University of Alabama – Birmingham; Jane Atwater, Ph.D., University of Kansas

The Parenting for the First Time project is a four-site (University of Notre Dame, University of Kansas, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Georgetown University), 5-year prospective longitudinal study of 397 adolescent mothers and their children as well as a comparison group of 285 adult mothers. The program was funded in 2001 by a partnership of NICHD, CDC, NIDA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Department of Education, as well as cell phones and service donated by Centennial Wireless and AT&T. The project is aimed at learning about diverse social and cultural contexts of the transition to parenting; the early identification of neglect, its antecedents, and consequences; and the availability and likely impact of teen parenting programs and supports in these communities. The study involves three types of assessments, including office visits, home visits, and mobile phone interviews. The data is being used to identify risks as well as protective factors, measured in detail, to better map the multiple and fluctuating social ecologies and personal life circumstances of teen mothers and their young children.

This project is not recruiting new participants.

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Burke Lefever at