ERIC Number: ED475877
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Children Having Children: Teen Pregnancy and Homelessness in New York City. A Report of the Institute for Children and Poverty.
Institute for Children and Poverty, New York, NY.
This study surveyed 337 mothers residing in New York City homeless shelters regarding their backgrounds and experiences, comparing those who were teen mothers to homeless mothers who had children later in life. Two groups of homeless families emerged: those with a foundation for advancement and those deprived of opportunities by the early burden of parenthood. Many homeless teen mothers grew up in unstable environments, with 61 percent reporting negative relationships with their parents and half stressing the absence of positive family role models. Most of these women sought companionship elsewhere and became sexually active very young. They demonstrated a profound lack of knowledge or interest regarding birth control. Homeless mothers who were not teen parents were more knowledgeable about sexual activity. Being a teen mother perpetuated the cycle of teen motherhood. Teenage families experienced significantly more episodes of homelessness than did non-teenage families. While minority groups represented half of the city's overall population, they comprised 91 percent of all homeless families in shelters, with African Americans overrepresented by two to one. Shelters can help break the cycle of pregnancy, poverty, and homelessness by coordinating efforts with policymakers to provide support to women at the greatest risk of becoming, or who already are, teen mothers. A nurturing environment can also be grounded in education. (SM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Age Differences, Early Parenthood, Emergency Shelters, Homeless People, Minority Groups, Mothers, Poverty, Pregnancy, Racial Differences, Urban Areas
Institute for Children and Poverty, 36 Cooper Square, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-529-5252; Fax: 212-529-7698; Web site: http://www.homesforthehomeless.com.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute for Children and Poverty, New York, NY.
Identifiers: New York (New York)