Teenage mothers at age 30

West J Nurs Res. 2005 Nov;27(7):831-50; discussion 851-62. doi: 10.1177/0193945905278190.


This longitudinal, interpretive study explored how teen mothers experienced the self and future during a 12-year period. Sixteen families were first interviewed intensively in 1988-1989 once the teen's infant reached age 8 to 10 months; they were reinterviewed in 1993, 1997, and 2001 (Time 4). Twenty-seven family members were reinterviewed at Time 4. The metaphor of a narrative spine is used to describe how the mothers'lives unfolded during the 12-year period. The narrative spines of some mothers were large and supported well-developed, coherent "chapters" on mothering, adult love, and work. For others, mothering provided a "backbone" for a meaningful life; however, chapters on adult love and work were less fully developed. The lives of a third group of mothers lacked a coherent narrative structure. Each pattern is presented with a paradigm case.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development
  • Adult
  • Assertiveness
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Narration
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Symbolism
  • United States