Using a meaning making lens and a qualitative methodology, this dissertation study sought to explore transformative meaning making and implicit beliefs of parenting among a sample of 40 adolescent mothers participating in a home visiting program during their transition to parenthood. Given the high attrition rate for interventions serving adolescent moms, the study also explored the alignments between meaning making and home visiting program participation. Through iterative coding and theme analysis, this investigation revealed that participants’ beliefs about parenting evolve as they transition from pregnancy to parenting. They engage in meaning making throughout the process, which leads to scripts of change in three areas: improvements in relationships, changes in life outlook, and changes to self. Two groups emerged on either end of the spectrum of meaning making. High meaning-making transformers tended to remain actively enrolled in the intervention while the low meaning-making remainers all dropped out by the second year. An analysis of implicit beliefs about parenting, or meta-parenting mindset, identified three groups of participants: fixed theorists, incremental theorists, and mixed theorists. Fixed theorists, who believed parenting ability was natural or instinctual, had a lower retention rate in the program (14%) than the overall rate of the sample (42%) even after controlling for participants who moved away. Incremental theorists, who attributed their parenting abilities to gradual growth and learning, had a 50% retention rate and also represented just 6.6% of those receiving a low number of visits and 66.6% of those who had high rates of home visits.
|Commitee:||Mistry, Jayanthi, Morelli, Gilda A., Rusk, Natalie|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Adolescent mothers, Home visiting interventions, Implicit theories, Meaning making, Meta-parenting mindset, Transition to parenthood|
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