This thesis examines the cross-cultural meanings affixed to adolescent pregnancy. To greater understand the complex cycle of young motherhood, it is necessary to evaluate the forces which influence and guide adolescents in their sexual conduct and pregnancy attitudes. This analysis may help us form culturally sensitive programs designed to support a teen before, after, and during pregnancy, and subsequently work to improve her life chances. This examination was performed by conducting interviews with fourteen working class, racially diverse young pregnant women, and comparing the results with past research, literature, and theory. It was found that indeed there are culturally distinct tendencies toward viewing and adjusting to teen pregnancy, as well as varying levels of assistance and positive outlook indicated from the support networks. Correlating with past literature, it was found that while Mexican-Americans and Puerto Rican-Americans receive positive support from their families, EuroAmericans must rely on their peers and social programs for primary support. African-Americans had relatively high levels of support from all networks examined, including the family, peer group, and the father of the child. To broaden the scope of the data, other variables such as household composition, personal pregnancy attitudes, and educational support systems were also addressed.


Kershaw, Terry


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1993 Alden Faulkner