Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"I Think Different Now": Adolescent Mothers' Meaning Making and Mindset in the Transition to Parenthood
by Waddoups, Anne Bentley, Ph.D., Tufts University, 2015, 205; 3728540
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Easterbrooks, Ann
Commitee: Mistry, Jayanthi, Morelli, Gilda A., Rusk, Natalie
School: Tufts University
Department: Psychology
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
Publication Number: 3728540
ISBN: 978-1-339-14043-8
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