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Voices of Teen Mothers: Their Challenges, Support Systems, and Successes

Mangino, Juliann Galmarini (2008) Voices of Teen Mothers: Their Challenges, Support Systems, and Successes. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Teenage mothers are at a greater risk to drop out of school than their non-parenting classmates. The many and varied reasons for leaving school early are well documented. To examine why some at-risk students remain in school through graduation, this study will utilize three primary and accepted reasons why students drop out: school, personal and economic. Through qualitative analysis this study will examine why some high-risk teen mothers, faced with the challenges and opportunities of school, personal and economic services, manage to graduate from high school. The study design consists of five interviews with females who were pregnant or parenting as high school students. The narratives provide an insight into the challenges the young women encountered during pregnancy and childrearing at home and in school. The narratives also work as a framework for exploring the school, personal and economic factors that most influenced their ability to remain in school through graduation. Through a detailed qualitative analysis of the data, a quantitative matrix was designed to evaluate and score the impact level of school, personal and economic support. School-related support and personal support were found to be of near or equal importance to teen mothers actively working toward high school graduation. Economic support appeared least important of the three categories. The study also found that greater support from one category (i.e. school), could compensate for deficiencies in a separate category (i.e. personal). Furthermore, the study found across the board that success in terms of a teen mother graduating from high school hinged to some degree on a personal transformation within the teen mother, often spurred by dynamic leaders within the school or outside agencies that have regular contact with the teen mother. Further revealed was the significance of familial acceptance and support. The study makes apparent the need for further research of the dynamics of family in regard to nurturing success for a teen mother.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mangino, Juliann
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrovato, Charlene Atrovato@education.pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberGorman, Charles Jgorman@pitt.eduGORMAN
Committee MemberRespress, Jacqueline
Committee MemberSeckinger, Richard
Date: 27 June 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 March 2008
Approval Date: 27 June 2008
Submission Date: 21 April 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: at-risk students; drop out; dropout prevention; high school mothers; teen parents; teenage pregnancy
Other ID:, etd-04212008-221354
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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