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The Vulnerabilities of Teenage Mothers: Challenging Prevailing Assumptions

SmithBattle, Lee RN, DNSc

Vulnerability and Empowerment: Part II

The belief that early childbearing leads to poverty permeates our collective understanding. However, recent findings reveal that for many teens, mothering makes sense of the limited life options that precede their pregnancies. The author challenges several assumptions about teenage mothers and offers an alternative to the modern view of the unencumbered self that drives current responses to teen childbearing. This alternative perspective entails a situated view of the self and a broader notion of parenting and citizenship that supports teen mothers and affirms our mutual interdependence.

Associate Professor; Saint Louis University; St. Louis, Missouri

The author acknowledges the bibliographic assistance of Jennifer Broeder, the thoughtful comments of Margaret Diekemper and three reviewers, the editorial assistance of Elizabeth Tornquist, and the financial support of the National Institute for Nursing Research (NR04700 R29).

Copyright © 2000 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.