‘You've got to grow up when you've got a kid’: Marginalized young women's accounts of motherhood
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 299–314, July/August 2008
How to Cite
Rolfe, A. (2008), ‘You've got to grow up when you've got a kid’: Marginalized young women's accounts of motherhood. J. Community. Appl. Soc. Psychol., 18: 299–314. doi: 10.1002/casp.925
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 MAR 2007
- teenage motherhood;
- teenage pregnancy;
Teenage motherhood has been a source of considerable debate in policy and media circles in recent years. This paper explores the meanings of teenage motherhood for young women who were mothers before the age of 21, who were living in economically deprived areas of England and most of whom had been in residential or foster care. Qualitative interviews were carried out at several sites across England, with a total of 33 young women taking part in group interviews and one-to-one interviews. The accounts of the young women suggest that they talk about motherhood in three main ways: as ‘hardship and reward’, ‘growing up and responsibility’ and ‘doing things differently’. It is argued that these ways of talking about motherhood present a different picture of teenage motherhood from that of dominant discourses. Furthermore, the young women are active in negotiating and constructing their own identities as mothers, carers and women. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.