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Teenage mothers with oppressive pasts created new family caregiving traditions

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QUESTION: How do teenage mothers extend and develop family caregiving traditions?


Qualitative longitudinal study with data collected at baseline, 4, and 8 years.


A large metropolitan area on the west coast of the USA.


The original sample comprised 16 teenage mothers whose firstborn infants were 8–10 months of age and who had ≥1 parent who also agreed to participate. 8 years later, 11 of 16 families (23 participants) were interviewed (mean age of mothers 25 y; 7 white and 4 African-American).


Multiple individual and family interviews occurred at all 3 time periods. At 8 years, young parents were interviewed twice and grandparents were interviewed once. Participants were asked to describe what was meaningful and difficult in being a parent or grandparent and what had occurred in their lives during the previous 4 years. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed verbatim, and …

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  • Source of funding: Graduate School and School of Nursing, St Louis University.

  • For correspondence: Dr L SmithBattle, St Louis University, 3525 Caroline Street, St Louis, Missouri 63104-1099, USA.