Adolescent pregnancy creates challenges for this minority population in balancing their motherhood identity with continuing to develop their identity at the adolescent stage, which presents a social problem today. The intent of this thesis is to explore the relationship between identity, adjustment, and social support among college students who were adolescent mothers. The following surveys: Personal Network Matrix (PNM), The Identity Distress Scale (IDS), and The Dimension of Identity Development Scale (DIDS), were administered through the UCF SONA system. Participants were divided into three groups: mothers who had their first child as a teenager (teen mothers; n = 6), mothers who had their first child at 20 years or older (older mothers; n = 12), and women who have never had children (non-mothers; n = 182). Overall, the results of the study indicated that non-mothers tended to ruminate more than older mothers and the more social support mothers received as an adolescent, the less likely they were to ruminate at the adolescent stage. Moreover, older mothers displayed less identity exploration in breadth than non-mothers and adolescent mothers. Future researchers is needed to further investigate the relationship between social support, adjustment, and identity distress, in order to start building intervention research in assisting adolescent mothers in their struggle with identity development, emotional support, and for the well-being of their offspring.
Berman, Steven L.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
UCF Daytona Beach
Rosado, Dayanara, "Identity Development, Social Support, and Motherhood" (2016). Honors in the Major Theses. 96.