Weaving a tapestry of relational assistance: A qualitative investigation of interpersonal support among reservation-residing Navajo teenage mothers

Rochelle L. Dalla, Wendy C. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The social context of teenage parenting among reservation-residing, Navajo Native Americans was examined. Intensive interviews were conducted with Navajo adolescent mothers who described their primary agents of support, types of support received, and experiences with interpersonal conflict. The teenagers' mothers were interviewed and provided additional information regarding the mother-daughter relationship and their role in the provision of support. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, and then analyzed using Phenomonological Descriptive Analysis (Colaizzi, 1978). Variability in support provided by grandmothers was observed and examined relative to relationship histories and other life experiences. Relationships with male partners were described as tenuous; they provided little support to the teenage mothers. Peers, too, were reported as minimal providers of support and maternity as disruptive in the maintenance of adolescent friendships. Grandmother reports concurred with those of their teenage parenting daughters. Implications for policy and intervention are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-267
Number of pages17
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this