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Keywords:

  • Homeless;
  • adolescent mothers;
  • depression;
  • social support

PROBLEM: Homeless families headed by young mothers are increasing. This preliminary study describes the characteristics of 17 homeless teenage mothers (HTM).

METHODS: HTMs completed questionnaires researching depression, self-esteem, maternal competence, and sources of stress and support.

FINDINGS: HTMs had positive maternal competence and self-esteem scores. When compared to housed mothers, HTMs were younger, had more depressive symptoms and negative life events, and fewer social supports.

CONCLUSIONS: HTMs represent a high-risk group with fewer available supports and many complex life stressors. School-based programs can benefit HTMs by offering support, helping them continue their education, and assisting with on-site school-based childcare.