Teenage Mothers and Education

Prof Doc Thesis

McLeod, Janet 2013. Teenage Mothers and Education. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.3478
AuthorsMcLeod, Janet
TypeProf Doc Thesis

The purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly, it was undertaken to establish
whether teenage mothers were motivated to re-engage with education postpregnancy.
Secondly, to consider whether Educational Psychologists could support
the long-term educational outcomes of teenage mothers. Five teenage mothers
between the ages of 16-19 were interviewed using semi-structured interviews, to
explore this further:
a) What are the views of teenage mothers living within an outer
London Borough about their individual educational experiences?
b) What similarities and differences are there between their avowed
identity and ascribed identity?
c) What are their future aspirations?
d) Where is the teenage mother situated in structural society? The
researcher employed Foucauldian Discourse Analysis to analyse
discourse from the participants and discourses within the wider
discursive field.
This study explored how Educational Psychologists could practice psychology to
support teenage mothers in re-engaging with education post pregnancy, which may
improve the economic and social prospects of the teenage mother, her long term
outcomes and those of her child. Findings indicated that the teenage mothers found
motherhood fulfilling indeed and motherhood was in fact an important motivational
factor in their future aspirations. Findings also strongly indicated that there is a need
for discursive formations which encompass diversity and difference amongst teenage
mothers and wholesomely defines their strengths and potential in order to reproduce
the “truth”. Research should develop educational programs and in particular literacy
programs based on the theory of cultural production in order to equip teenage
mothers with language and critical thinking skills in which to negotiate their need for
equal access to power and resources; and reposition themselves in order to negate
widely held societal presumptions about young mothers. Herein lies the challenge for
a new social reality.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.3478
Publication dates
PrintDec 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Jan 2014
Publisher's version
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