Weaving dreamcatchers: mothering among American Indian women who were teen mothers
Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 70, Issue 1, pages 153–163, January 2014
How to Cite
2013) Weaving dreamcatchers: mothering among American Indian women who were teen mothers. Journal of Advanced Nursing 70(1), 153–163. doi: 10.1111/jan.12180, , , & (
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 28 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 MAY 2013
- NIH/NINR. Grant Number: 1F31 NR009627-01
- NIH/NIGMS. Grant Numbers: 1R25 GM56847, 5T32 NR007077-14
- American Indian;
- early childbearing;
- interpretive phenomenology;
- maternal role;
- native American;
- teen pregnancy
The aim of this study was to explore the mothering experience and practice among reservation-based adult American Indian women who had been adolescent mothers.
Adolescent American Indian women are at an elevated risk for teen pregnancy and poor maternal/child outcomes. Identifying mothering practices among this population may help guide intervention development that will improve health outcomes.
A collaborative orientation to community-based participatory research approach.
Employing interpretive phenomenology, 30 adult American Indian women who resided on a Northwestern reservation were recruited. In-depth, face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted between 2007–2008.
Women shared their mothering experience and practice, which encompassed a lifespan perspective grounded in their American Indian cultural tradition. Four themes were identified as follows: mother hen, interrupted mothering and second chances, breaking cycles and mothering a community. Mothering originated in childhood, extended across their lifespan and moved beyond mothering their biological offspring.
These findings challenge the Western construct of mothering and charge nurses to seek culturally sensitive interventions that reinforce positive mothering practices and identify when additional mothering support is needed across a woman's lifespan.