Adolescent mothers' beliefs about parenting and injury prevention: results of a focus group

J Pediatr Health Care. Jul-Aug 2001;15(4):194-9. doi: 10.1067/mph.2001.112516.


Introduction: A nonfatal injury occurs every 2 seconds in the United States, and approximately 30,000 children die each year from injury-related causes. The U.S. Department of Health identified the reduction of unintentional injuries as a major health goal. The current study reports on a focus group discussion conducted with adolescent mothers to examine their beliefs and practices regarding injury prevention.

Method: Seventeen first-time adolescent mothers participated in the focus group. Participants responded to questions about important aspects of mothering, causes of injury, and strategies to prevent injuries. Responses were categorized.

Results: No mother spontaneously identified injury prevention as an important part of mothering. More than half of all participants believed that injuries are unpreventable. Further, mothers identified a limited number of strategies to prevent injury. None of the mothers reported having discussed injury prevention with their child's pediatrician.

Discussion: Implications for care are discussed, including the need to address issues of injury prevention during well-baby care, the potential benefits of home visits, and specific challenges in implementing The Injury Prevention Program with young mothers.

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Adolescent
  • Child Abuse
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mothers*
  • Parenting*
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*