ORIGINAL PAPER
Experiencing and the realization of motherhood by teenage mothers
 
 
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Department of Developmental Psychology, Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Submission date: 2014-09-29
Final revision date: 2015-02-17
Acceptance date: 2015-02-17
Online publication date: 2015-04-30
Publication date: 2015-05-01
 
Health Psychology Report 2016;4(1):24–40
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
Early motherhood constitutes a difficult challenge for girls, and the level of their performance in that role is varied. In this article, teenage motherhood as a process is considered. The objective of the research was to determine the paths by which teenage girls enter the mother role. Particular attention was paid to the nature of individual differences in the ways of experiencing and the realization of the successive steps of teenage motherhood: how the girls reacted to the fact of being a mother, what they experienced and how they behaved during pregnancy and performed child care.

Participants and procedure
In the research, 166 mothers who had given birth to their children between the 15th and 19th year of life were included (at the moment of giving birth to the child, the age of the mother was M = 17.22). A follower interview was used. It was directed towards recreating the course of their lives from the period preceding becoming pregnant to the period of pregnancy and looking after the child, taking into consideration the complex situations connected with life and development of the female teenagers.

Results
In the research, we applied the Reconstruction Strategy of the Process Transformation, setting the direction of qualitative analyses: (1) the level of single cases (case study), and (2) the level of the collection of cases (extracting groups of girls with common characteristics using the artificial intelligence algorithm C4.5). The analysis revealed the diversity and the internal structure of paths of the experience and realization of early motherhood: from negating oneself as a responsible mother to accepting the role of mother.

Conclusions
The final result is constituted by the model revealing the transformation of teenage motherhood and mechanisms underlying it.
 
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