Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Karen D. Bowser

Committee Member

Susan Davis

Committee Member

Kimberly Durham


academic attainment, teen mothers, teen pregnancy, resiliency, self-efficacy


In 2015, there were 229,715 babies born to teens between the ages of 15-19 years of age. Over the past few years, teen births have decreased, however the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancies. There have been successful teen mothers who have completed high school and have proceeded to attend college and graduate with either a two or four-year degree. It is important to understand this study was not intended to justify research on teen pregnancy or condone teen pregnancy, but there needed to be an awareness made regarding adults who were teen mothers and how they overcame barriers after becoming a teen mother. When a teen gives birth to a child, she is now transitioning into motherhood, and it is important to know what it takes to overcome the stigma that follows teen mothers. Teen mothers are faced with many barriers, and these barriers could be any type of difficulty that prevents teen mothers achieving their own personal success.

By collecting data through semi-structured interviews, this study provided awareness of how adult women overcame the stigma of teenage pregnancy. Each participant defined the success they had experienced in different ways. However, the focus was success, and learning how teen mothers have overcome and knocked down barriers in order to be successful is important. The intent of this research was to bring about an awareness that teen parenting programs work, and they are important to have in place for teen mothers. Although the number of teen mothers has continued to decrease, there are still teen mothers, and they should have programs available to help them reach their definition and desired goals of success.

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