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adolescent mothers, agency, family research, high-risk children, longitudinal research, mothering, multigenerational research, teenage mothers



  1. SmithBattle, Lee RN, DNSc
  2. Leonard, Victoria Wynn RN, FNP, PhD


This article reports on the fifth wave of a multigenerational study of teen mothering. Two paradigm cases reveal how teen mothers' agency and development are linked with their teenaged children's development in a world shaped by poverty and limited resources. Teens with attenuated relationships and without anchors of hope and behavioral expectations for the future face an existential void that sets them adrift. Teens with well-developed parental relationships, family routines, and behavioral expectations have a stake in the future. This emic view shows how teens respond to the challenges of adolescence shaped by mothers' agency, family practices, class, and culture.