Pregnancy and motherhood among adolescent girls in child protective services: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research

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Journal of Public Child Welfare, 6(5): 614-635

Connolly, Jennifer
Heifetz, Marina
Bohr, Yvonne

Journal article
Canadian CW research

The objective of the current study was to produce a meta-synthesis of the existent qualitative research on pregnant or mothering adolescents who have been in the custody of child protective services. Seven overarching themes emerged from analyzing 17 qualitative studies: (1) infant filling an emotional void; (2) lack of consistent education and lack of sexual education; (3) motherhood adversities; (4) mistrust of others and social stigma; (5) perception of motherhood as positive and stabilizing; (6) internal strengths and wanting to do better; and (7) supports as contributing to positive motherhood experience. Findings are discussed in the context of the risk and resilience framework. Implications for research and practice are addressed.