This study examines the nature of early parenthood and adolescent pregnancy in the inner cities of the United States. Twelve children from the fifth grades of an inner city school and twelve children from the fourth, fifth , and sixth grades of a local, rural school were interviewed to determine their perspective on parenthood. Questions were designed to ascertain whether or not bearing a child is considered to be a rite of passage in the inner city. Rites of passage are one type of ritual symbol that serves to transmit values and norms of a culture to its members. Based upon the children's responses, it can be seen that there is evidence to support this hypothesis. Many children drew the parallel between adulthood and parenthood. Recommendations are made based on the data to aid educators to more effectively encourage delayed parenthood and prevent adolescent pregnancy among those children who do not wish to become pregnant.


Meyer, Eric


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

Request Access



© Copyright 1994 Susan B. Roberts