Parenthood among adolescents who are homeless is poorly studied. Understanding how these adolescents perceive parenthood is important for providing effective health care, public policy, and social services. Fifteen fathers and 16 mothers, ages 18 to 22, from a shelter in Philadelphia participated in semistructured interviews. Coding and analysis involved standard qualitative methodologies. Participants identified parenthood as an important turning point that produced motivation to change behaviors and life circumstances but noted multiple barriers to actualizing change including stigma, shame, and old patterns of behavior. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine ways to support these youth in actualizing change. (Author abstract)
Parenthood and motivation to change in homeless older adolescents
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