244456 Minority Adolescent Mothers: Finding their Identity through Stigma, Support and Social Adjustment

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:10 AM

Alison Chamberlain, MSN, RN , School of Nursing, Lourdes College, Sylvania, OH
Judy A. Didion, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, Lourdes University, Sylvania, OH
Teenage pregnancy continues to be a major public health issue, having devastating effects on the physical and mental well-being of the teen and the infant. They are at an increased risk for postpartum depression, social isolation and future life challenges. Many experience barriers to education, workplace opportunities and stress. However, several studies report adolescent mothers as resilient and adaptable. To develop effective health promotion programs, it is essential to better understand the challenges of minority teen mothers. This study's purpose was to explore minority adolescent mothers' postpartum adjustment and discern depression risk. A mixed method design utilizing focus group interviews and a survey was implemented. Ten African American and one Hispanic teen mother participated by completing the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and participating in a focus group. Focus groups were audio taped and analyzed using a Phenomenological approach to identify major themes. The EPDS data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Findings suggested that these teens were not at risk for post partum depression. Their adjustment to motherhood was revealed by three major themes that emerged from the data: stigma, support and social adjustment. Findings suggest that these teen moms were not dissatisfied with their role as a mother and viewed motherhood as a process of adjustment. Several participants described how judgment from family, friends and strangers became a motivating force for their success. The findings also suggest that community and familial support are essential components in the lives of minority adolescent mothers and their babies.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the relationship of stigma to social adjustment of minority teen mothers. List some contributing factors for successful transitioning of teens to motherhood. Discuss the risk of postpartum depression for teen mothers.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a Public health Nurse for over 15 years and I have taught Public Health Nursing in baccalaureate and graduate programs since 1989. I have completed research in the area of teen pregnancy from an adolescent male perspective and have presented these findings at APHA in the past. I am currently involved in a community health project that focuses on improving birth outcomes for high risk mothers in the community.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.