ERIC Number: EJ834302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
Identity Work among Street-Involved Young Mothers
King, Katharine E.; Ross, Lori E.; Bruno, Tara L.; Erickson, Patricia G.
Journal of Youth Studies, v12 n2 p139-149 Apr 2009
The Youth Pathways Project tracked the life-course trajectories of street-involved young women (n=75) in Toronto over a one-year period. At first contact, 60% of these women had been pregnant, and 29% of those had children. In the interim leading up to the final interview 12 months later, five participants became pregnant and five had given birth. This paper examines the narratives of these 10 recently pregnant and/or newly parenting young women. Our focus is on the ways in which pregnancy and parenting are discursively constructed as a turning point away from street involvement and drug use. Using the concept of identity talk, we examine young women's descriptions of pregnancy and parenting. We note that risky practices that may have precipitated pregnancy are minimised, while the positive and transforming aspects of pregnancy and parenting are emphasised. Pregnancy and parenting are linked with short-term goals of personal change and leaving the street, but the long-term implications of motherhood, including poverty and poor health, are not addressed by participants. Our analysis contributes to a better understanding of the subjective meaning of pregnancy for street-involved young women. We suggest that these insights are important as part of an overall health promotion strategy for this vulnerable group.
Descriptors: Early Parenthood, Females, Youth, At Risk Persons, Homeless People, Drug Use, Child Rearing, Pregnancy, Self Concept, Longitudinal Studies, Interviews, Urban Areas, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)