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