The bumpy road to 'becoming': Capturing the stories that teenage mothers told about their journey into motherhood

Maggie Leese

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Understanding the experience of women who become mothers during their teenage years is central to ensuring that the support that is offered is appropriate to meet their needs. This paper reports on a small part of a larger ethnographic study that captured the lived experience of young mothers who were between the ages of 16 and 19 years that potentially typifies and illuminates the experiences of young women who become mothers in their teenage years. By collecting data from narrative interviews as well as participant and non‐participant observations over an extended period of time it was possible to identify how the young women experienced a range of difficulties as they made their transition into motherhood. Drawing on the findings, this paper argues that this transition for teenage mothers can be significantly different from the experience of older mothers, and it identifies the importance of appropriate support to mediate the challenges that they face. Understanding the young women's journey to ‘becoming’ is critical when planning services because if their experience of support is negative, it can lead to increased levels of maternal stress and reluctance to engage with support services.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0
    Pages (from-to)521-529
    Number of pages9
    JournalChild and Family Social Work
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2014


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