Adolescent Mothers' Experiences of Caring for Their Children While Homeless

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The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to describe homeless adolescent mothers' experiences of caring for their children while living in a shelter. Eight homeless adolescent mothers participated in the study. Data were analyzed using Colaizzi [Colaizzi, P. (1978). Psychological research as the phenomenologist views it. In R. S. Valle & M. King (Eds.) Existential Foundations of Psychology (chapter 3). New York, NY: Oxford University Press]. Five themes were generated: (a) tough and troubling times, (b) acting out, (c) wishing it undone, (d) hostile encounters, and (e) steering clear. Nurses working with homeless families may help these young mothers cope with the demands of shelter living while keeping in mind that distinctive support needs may arise during different times of the homeless experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-467
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Adolescent mothers
  • Homeless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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