Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Co-chair

Gyda Swaney, Paul Silverman

Commitee Members

Christine Fiore, David Schuldberg, Kirsten Murray


American Indian, attachment, community support, intimate partner violence, young mothers


University of Montana


Although there has been a decline in teen pregnancy in White, African American, and Hispanic teens, American Indian teen pregnancies have stayed relatively stable. According to Indian Health Services (2014), young women under the age of 24 years old account for 80 percent of births in the American Indian population. With a high percent of young mothers in this population and the stigma associated with young parenting, it is important to explore American Indian young mothers’ satisfaction and efficacy associated with parenting. It is also important to see how American Indian communities can support young mothers. The present study examined how attachment to parents, grandmothers, and peers and intimate partner violence impacts American Indian young mothers parenting satisfaction and efficacy. There were 134 American Indian young mothers who participated in this study. Results of the simple linear regression analyses revealed significant positive relationships between attachment to a mother figure, attachment to a father figure, and attachment to friends. However, attachment to father figures seems to have more of an impact than other attachments. Intimate partner violence was shown to have a negative impact on parenting satisfaction and efficacy. In this study community support was not a significant moderator on parenting satisfaction and efficacy, but when examined alone had a negative impact on parenting satisfaction and efficacy. Further analyses suggested that young mothers with high levels of attachment to father figures (and perhaps mother and grandmother figures) perceived or received less community support. This study shows that having a positive attachment may help young mothers to feel more satisfied and efficacious as parents and also shows that intimate partner violence can have a negative impact on American Indian young mothers’ satisfaction and efficacy as parents. The results of this study can be used to inform programs about the impacts of attachment, community support, and intimate partner violence on American Indian young mothers’ parenting satisfaction and efficacy.



© Copyright 2018 Ann Marie Douglas