Adolescent Mothers’ Life Trajectory: What is Dimming Their Futures?
Literature Review and Prevention Best Practices
For years, researchers contended that early pregnancy was the primary determinant for poor life outcomes for adolescent mothers (Hayes, 1987, as cited in SmithBattle 2007, p 410). More recently, the flaws in these assumptions have surfaced as theories such as the general systems theory on human behavior are gaining traction. This states that from the individual level (social interactions, cultural beliefs and values, degree of self-efficacy) to the environmental level (family, peer groups, societal norms, social class, economic status, racism), the widening disparity along one’s developmental life course reveals outcomes unique to a person and their experiences (Coie et al., 1993, pp 1014, 1016). The intertwined nature of these systems, each of which will be discussed in further sections, have altered the direction of research concerning sources of poor life outcomes commonly attributed to adolescent motherhood.