Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Katharine Hill


Social Work


Teenage mothers face many challenges throughout their lives, challenges that prove to be both positive and negative. This study examines the lived experiences of seven women who were teen mothers. They have shared their stories here and reveal their experiences. Data was obtained through semi-structured qualitative interviews with seven women who became pregnant at age 20 or younger and who have been parenting for at least five years. Themes emerged from the interviews such as: family structure, education, personal goals and values, circumstances surrounding the pregnancy, support, the relationship and role of the father, the experience of becoming a young mother, resiliency, and thoughts on pregnancy prevention and sex education. Findings indicated that the women had a similar positive outcome to becoming teen mothers, that support was found to be the most important factor in obtaining goals and success, and the need for open communication regarding sexual activity between parents and their children. Findings also indicated a discrepancy between general perceptions of women who become teen parents and the reality of the women represented in this study. Furthermore, the importance of sharing her experience was found to be powerful, having someone to listen to her story and to be able to contribute her thoughts to this project. This study reveals the need for future research and focus on supporting the strengths of teen mothers rather than treating teen pregnancy and parenthood only as a social problem; another need is education on effective communication between parents and children regarding sexual activity and pregnancy and breaking the barriers that create an uncomfortable atmosphere regarding the subject of sex and teens.

Included in

Social Work Commons