Parenting Education for Teen Mothers if a Capstone Project

Excerpt from Capstone Project :

Parenting Education for Teen Mothers

If a community values its children, it must cherish their parents. (John Bowlby)

Rationale of intervention population

Group based intervention programs

Multi-purpose programs

Teen Mother Empowerment Program Series (TMEPS)

Framework of TMEPS Program-Fig

Fig 2-Phased TMEPS

Phase 1 sessions

Table 1- Session Administration

Lesson Plans

Evaluation of program outcomes

Follow-up plan

Continuation of TEMPS

Appendix II-Program Evaluation Questionnaire

This paper is aimed at presenting a parenting education and support program for teenage mothers. To identify the most basic needs of teen mothers, literature review was conducted. Only recent literature, from 2006-2013 was reviewed. The review included intervention studies for teenage mothers and parents aimed at increasing the parenting skills of young mothers. Three basic set of needs was identified. Firstly, the teen mothers are in need of primary care for the new born child. Maternal health management is also main issue faced by teen mothers. Secondly, teen mothers require an effective and enabling social support structure for successfully raising the children in absence of socio-economic capacity of their own. Thirdly, the teen mothers are vulnerable to education discontinuation after giving birth in their teenage. A parenting education and support program named 'Teen Mothers Empowerment Program Series (TMEPS)' has been developed based on extensive literature review being conducted. The program has three main phases including primary care & parenting education, social support structure, and financial assistance for continuing education of teen mothers. 6 sessions of Phase 1 of TMEPS spanned over 6 weeks have been developed. Description of lesson agenda for each session is followed by brief description of all the six (6) lesson plans for this Phase 1 program. Evaluation methodology and criteria for assessing effectiveness of the program is also presented. A follow-up plan is also presented at the end of this work that includes Louisville Behavior Checklist (LBCL) and detailed assessment interview from participant teen mothers. The program is aimed at improving overall parenting behavior and skills of adolescent mothers.



Parenting is among the few jobs that require knowledge, insight, and education to rear children with healthy mind and body. Experience alone may not prove sufficient to raise healthy children. Raising children may become fun for the parents if they are well-informed about parenting skills and are ready to adopt these skills. With each child having different strengths, weaknesses, skills, and abilities, parents often find it difficult to adjust their 'parenting style' according to the need of their child. The problem is even more when parents, specifically the mother is a teenager and lacks not only the education but also insight to raising children. It is generally observed that young parents are neither economically nor socially stable to enjoy the joy of parenthood since most of the times they are struggling with routine issues of child in a perplexed manner. Thus, foundational parenting skills are vitally important for young parents, both for themselves and the child. The beliefs and perception of parents regarding child's physical and intellectual development also play an important role in determining the relationship of parents with child. Parents' perception about importance of academic grades also dictates the relationship (Areepattamannil, 2010). Teenage parents, specifically teen mothers are at a greater disadvantage both economically and socially in raising their children in a stable environment as compared to mothers of mature age. Thus, sensitivity of teen mothers towards their child's behavior also increases. With this background, this paper is aimed at presenting a research-based parenting education plan for teenage mothers.

Rationale of study

Genetic environmental transactions are responsible for a healthy upbringing of child. Adolescent pregnancies, poverty, and non-facilitating parenting (Wood & Davidson, 2006) have needlessly increased child population with special needs. Should there be an increased effort by educational institutes and community with respect to educating young mothers for raising mentally and emotionally stable child, a dramatic decrease can be achieved in number of children requiring special education or treatment. Further, there are direct and indirect impacts of adolescent pregnancies in areas of economic well-being, health risks, and child-care (Duncan, 2007). Child maltreatment due to lack of parenting skills (Reynolds, Mathieson & Topitzes, 2009) is also a main reason to address the issue of imparting appropriate parenting education. It is also a well researched fact that teen mothers are prone to live in poor conditions, suffer from hypertension, experience family and social instability, get few educational opportunities, and lack the requisite psychological strength (Petch, & Halford, 2008) as well as social security net to raise their children in a healthy environment. All these elements increase vulnerability of teen mothers. Health and well-being of mother and the child are compromised in such conditions. To help teen mothers and their children with an appropriate parenting education plan, this paper will devise the said plan for Hispanic Teen Mothers in Rio Grande Valley in Southernmost tip of South Texas.

Rationale of intervention population

Ethnic minorities of the U.S. are at an increased risk related to socio-economic factors and health. From joblessness to their legal status in the country, there are several other factors that impact their living conditions. Hispanics are by large one of the dominant ethnic minority and have both native-born and immigrant Hispanics. Exhibit 1 sourced from Texas State website indicates that there were more than 8.8 million Hispanics in Rio Grande Valley is a Hispanics dominated area in South Texas, thus the area qualifies for an application of teen mother parenting education program.

Literature review

Group based intervention programs

The issue of teen parenting and adolescent mothering is also investigated by the researchers in context of health problems, both for the mother and the child. Churchill and Clarke (2010) mentioned the role of governments in regulating teen parenting programs. The author observed that there is significant importance of investments in modifying relationships of young couples and their children. Multi-component programs based on group participation are observed to have effective outcomes in educating teen parents. Since there are several elements of teen parenthood that leaves adolescent mothers 'socially excluded', the research study conducted by Churchill and Clarke (2010) has been selected for review. This study specifically investigates teen parenting programs as an instrument to reduce 'social exclusion' of adolescent mothers and fathers. It is pertinent to mention that this Churchill and Clarke's research is in reference to programs and policies implemented in England. Research, development, and implementation of teen programs got started in the U.K before being adopted in the U.S. The role of Family and Parenting Institute (formerly National Family and Parenting Institute) has been significant in developing such programs aimed at reducing social exclusion of at-risk teen parents. Not only social inclusion of teen mothers is aimed through such programs but also 'behavior' management of children. Pregnant teenagers have been helped specifically through 'Family-Nurse partnership'. In 2008-09, grants and human capital support through £ 18.8 million Parenting Strategy Support Grant were provided by the U.K government to the local authorities. Family level interventions involving both mother and father along with individual intervention programs for teen mothers are two broad categories that governments have worked on. Following are the specific initiatives of the U.K government that were initiated as pilot projects and then extended due to their beneficial outcomes for teen mothers and fathers.

Provision of two parenting experts in each local authority

School-based Parent Support Advisers

Parent Know How Program 2008 (included free telephone service, online assistance, new media advice, and information service)

The role of parenting education intervention programs is effective in ensuring maternal health and increased bond between child and his/her parents.

The role of nurses and pediatrician in developing sense of responsibility and care towards the new born babies is important. The pediatricians are specifically observed to have vital role in influencing the teen mother behavior. Thus, both the government and social support organizations should develop programs that encourage the role of pediatricians and nurses in providing informal parenting education to teen mothers and fathers. The role of father in teen mother support has also been acknowledged by many researchers. Most of the studies that are aimed at intervening in teen mother parenthood for improving it, the lack of father presence and role has been noticed. The researcher is unsure regarding the sustainability of achieved outcomes by these programs since father is also most crucial for making these short-term successes regarding parenting successful. Lack of coordination or cooperation by father may reduce the improved aspects. Material support to teen mothers is usually provided by their parents or by male partners. In this case, the presence and counseling of fathers is essential. It is also observed that programs adopting daily class schedule may not result in optimal outcome improvement. Since there is a good detail of actions, thought patterns, knowledge, and information in the planned intervention classes, it is essential that teen mothers are able to incorporate this body of knowledge in their daily routine. Failure to do so may compromise the potential impact that the program can achieve in improving the parenting skills of teen…

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