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Keywords

Adolescent, Parenting, Pregnancy, Teen pregnancy

 

Authors

  1. Rentschler, Dorothy D. PhD, RN

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To gain a clearer understanding of teens' perspectives on pregnancy and parenting.

 

Design: Descriptive qualitative study using grounded theory.

 

Methods: The sample was comprised of 20 pregnant 15- to 19-year-old teens in the second or third trimester of pregnancy who planned to keep their child. A taped interview of each participant was performed either in the school the teen was attending or in the privacy of her home. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Interviews were compared with each other to confirm/disconfirm emerging themes.

 

Results: The comparison of the data from the 20 interviews resulted in themes clearly describing the teens' perceptions of the changes related to pregnancy, how they managed these changes, and their views on mothering. Three major themes emerged: "The pregnant me-unexpected changes," "Transformed relationships," and "Envisioning mothering."

 

Clinical Implications: Nurses caring for pregnant adolescents who have made the decision to keep their babies should carefully assess each individual's strengths, weaknesses, hopes, and goals prior to developing a plan of care. Identifying the teens' living situations and support from family, father of the baby, and/or friends and recognizing and building upon the strengths the teens bring to the pregnancy may influence the pregnancy's outcome. Encouraging attendance and participation in programs specifically designed for pregnant adolescents and adolescent parents may be a helpful strategy for these teens.