The Meaning of Motherhood: Adolescent Childbearing and its Significance for Poor Dominican Females of Haitian Descent

Ida Salusky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article looks at how a group of marginalized young women, in the Dominican Republic, understand the experience of becoming a mother at an early age. The dominant global discourse on adolescent motherhood problematizes the phenomenon. Methodologically flawed scholarship typically attributes adolescent motherhood to poor economic and education outcomes. Little research exists examining the voices of young mothers themselves. The author aims to fill this gap and contribute a better understanding of how a group of disenfranchised young females narrate the experience of motherhood and its significance using a qualitative research design. Narratives suggest that adolescent motherhood may provide unconditional love, a sense of purpose in life, hope for future financial support and an alternative pathway to adulthood for poor Dominican Haitian adolescent females. Findings contrast with the dominant discourse on teen motherhood, indicating a need for researcher and policy to reexamine the costs and benefits of young motherhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-614
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • adolescent motherhood
  • community/neighborhood issues
  • conceptions of adulthood
  • education/school
  • ethnic issues
  • immigration issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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