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How Teen Mothers Describe Dating Violence


  • The author reports no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.


Judith W. Herrman, PhD, RN, ANEF, School of Nursing, University of Delaware, 375 McDowell Hall, Newark, DE 19716.



To present voices of young women who were pregnant or new parents as they shared their thoughts on the risks, behaviors, and prevention of teen dating violence (TDV).


Descriptive, qualitative analysis.


Focus groups in schools designed expressly for the needs of young women who are pregnant and parenting.


Twenty-six young mothers participated in one of three focus groups.


Focus groups explored perceptions of several dimensions of intimate partner violence within the context of pregnancy and parenting. A semi-structured interview guide provided the medium to delve into young mothers’ thoughts and perspectives about TDV.


Data were organized in four major typologies: describing TDV, increasing the risk, why violence, and prevention of TDV.


This analysis provides important insights into young mothers’ lives when teen parenting and violence intersect. Rich data provide the foundation to expand awareness and inform programs and policies designed to address TDV in young women who are pregnant and parenting. Findings may be used by nurses to assess risk, identify teens in violent relationships, and provide for understanding of TDV from the perspectives of young women who are pregnant and parenting.

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