Elizabeth N. Merrick is a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at New York University, New York. She gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Mary Sue Richardson of New York University for her comments on a draft of this article.
Adolescent Childbearing as Career “Choice”: Perspective From an Ecological Context
Version of Record online: 23 DEC 2011
1995 American Counseling Association
Journal of Counseling & Development
Volume 73, Issue 3, pages 288–295, January-February 1995
How to Cite
Merrick, E. N. (1995), Adolescent Childbearing as Career “Choice”: Perspective From an Ecological Context. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73: 288–295. doi: 10.1002/j.1556-6676.1995.tb01750.x
- Issue online: 23 DEC 2011
- Version of Record online: 23 DEC 2011
Adolescent childbearing among lower socioeconomic-status African American girls who are 16 to 21 years of age is a career choice and an alternative, normative life path within African American culture. Career choice is defined here to signify selection of a role through which one implements one's identity and which represents one's life work. This choice is first addressed from the perspective of vocational psychology and is then presented within two models of developmental psychology: the model of female development presented by Chodorow (1978) and Gilligan (1982) and the model of ecological human development by Bronfenbrenner (1977, 1988). These views incorporate a reassessment of the negative consequences of adolescent child-bearing. Finally, implications for research and practice are suggested.