How Adolescent Mothers Feel About Becoming a Parent

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First-time adolescent mothers deal with challenges that place extra demands not only on their stage of adolescent development but also on their ability to adapt to their new role as a parent. The purpose of this study was to explore and better understand first-time adolescent mothers' meaning and experience of parenting during the 4-to-6-week postpartum period. A secondary content analysis was performed, using narrative data collected from a previously conducted study on factors that influence adolescent mothers' self-perceptions of parenting. Three themes emerged from the content analysis: “Being Caught Between Two Worlds,” “Feeling Alone and Desperate,” and “If I Knew Then What I Know Now.” Findings revealed many adolescent mothers are unprepared for the demands of parenthood and, so, need extra guidance, instruction, and support from health-care providers and educators.

Keywords: adolescent mothers; adolescent pregnancy; self-perceptions of parenting; social support

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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