Office of Epidemiology and Research, Division of Research

Advancing Applied MCH Research

Evaluating an Innovative Model to Support Teen Parents and Their Children

Project Number: R40MC28080
Grantee: University of Maryland
Project Date: 2/1/2011
Principal Investigator: Amy Lewin

Final Report

Evaluating an Innovative Model to Support Teen Parents and Their Children Final Report (PDF) Exit Disclaimer


  • Women/Maternal
  • Perinatal/Infancy (0-12 months)
  • Adolescence (12-18 years)

Targeted/Underserved Population

  • African American


The Teen-Tot model is an intervention designed to strengthen the health and well-being of teen parents and their children by combining comprehensive primary care, including social work and mental health services, for both parents and children in a single setting. The model includes four components: 1) primary care services for adolescent parents and their children delivered by the same medical provider, in the same clinic, 2) social work services, 3) mental health services, and 4) inclusion of fathers and supportive significant others. To date, some preliminary but methodologically flawed evidence of the Teen-Tot model's effectiveness has been published, but no standardized model has been developed, and no rigorous evaluation has been conducted. Because of its potential as an intervention that can have a significant impact for a vulnerable group of mothers and children, and one that can be widely implemented, there is a critical need to clearly define, test, and document the effectiveness of this model. The proposed project will serve urban, African American, low-income mothers under age 21 and their young children who receive primary care from one of several community-based clinics in Washington, DC. The proposed research aims to test whether teen mothers who participate in a Teen-Tot program have more positive maternal reproductive health, education, emotional wellbeing, parenting, and child health outcomes than those who receive standard communitybased pediatric primary care. The proposed research will further examine intervention engagement and its potential role as a moderator of these outcomes. This rigorous evaluation of the Teen-Tot model will use a quasi-experimental design, with group assignment by clinic site. A total of 220 teenage mothers with infants aged 6 months or younger will be recruited from one of five primary care sites serving demographically comparable populations. Self-report data will be collected from participating mothers via home-based structured interviews at program enrollment (baseline) and at 12 and 24 months post-enrollment. Detailed process data will also be collected from service providers, and a manual of the model will be developed and disseminated. By documenting, implementing, and evaluating the effects of the Teen-Tot model for teen mothers and their children, the proposed project will address MCHB Strategic Research Issue #IV (Promoting the healthy development of MCH populations). Because the Teen- Tot model provides an alternative and innovative structure for providing primary care services to adolescent parents and their children, this project also addresses MCHB Strategic Research Issue #I (Public health service systems and infrastructures at the community, state and/or national levels, as they apply to different MCH populations).


Listed is descending order by year published.

Quinn DA, Mitchell SJ, Lewin A. The Role of Teen Mothers' Support Relationships in Maintenance of Contraceptive Use. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2017 Feb;30(1):35-40.

Lewin A, Mitchell S, Beers L, Schmitz K, Boudreaux M. Improved Contraceptive Use Among Teen Mothers in a Patient-Centered Medical Home. J Adolesc Health. 2016 Aug;59(2):171-6.

Lewin A, Mitchell SJ, Waters D, Hodgkinson S, Southammakosane C, Gilmore J. The protective effects of father involvement for infants of teen mothers with depressive symptoms. Matern Child Health J. 2015 May;19(5):1016-23.

Lewin, A., Mitchell, S.J., & Ronzio, C.R. Developmental differences in parenting behavior: Comparing adolescent, emerging adult, and adult mothers. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. 2013;59(1), 23-49.


Primary Care, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Fathers, Parenting, Preconception Health

Title V in Your State