Mother, daughter, teenager - Who am I? Perceptions of adolescent maternity in a Navajo reservation community

Rochelle L. Dalla, Wendy C. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Scopus citations


Intensive interviews focusing on perceptions of teenage parenting were conducted with Navajo teenage mothers, their mothers, and community informants. Data analyses revealed 2 central themes representing commitment to maternity or adolescence. Integration of these central themes resulted in a framework depicting four categories representing (a) teenagers highly committed to maternity and adolescence, (b) those identifying primarily with adolescence, (c) teenagers highly committed to the maternal role and minimally interested in typical adolescent activities, and (d) teenagers expressing little interest in either maternity or typical adolescent behaviors. Mothers of the teenagers provided descriptions of their daughters that supported the framework. Teenage mothers, their mothers, and community informants described the social perceptions of teenage parenting historically and within contemporary Navajo culture. Factors associated with the prevalence of adolescent parenting on the Navajo reservation are discussed, as are practical implications for model building and intervention services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-245
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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