Author(s)

Marsha BrownFollow

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Shante Moore-Austin

Primary Subject Area

Social Work; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies; Sociology, General; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies; Sociology, Public and Social Welfare; Psychology, General; Psychology, Social; Education, Bilingual and Multicultural; Education, General; Education, Guidance and Counseling; Education, Secondary; Education, Sociology of

Keywords

African American, case study, God's teachings, inappropriate relationships, phenomenological approach, teen pregnancy

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Disability and Equity in Education | Educational Sociology | Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Psychology | Race and Ethnicity | School Psychology | Social Psychology | Social Welfare | Social Work | Sociology | Sociology of Culture | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

Teen pregnancy continues to be a problem for families, educators, health care professionals, and the government. Teenagers are not afforded the opportunity to learn or receive reinforcement on God's laws on abstaining from premarital sex because religious education is not allowed in the public school system. This increase has led to the creation of the Teenage Parenting Center (TAPP), located in southwest Georgia. TAPP is one of 64 schools in a school district that offers special benefits for pregnant and parenting teens. This qualitative case study used a phenomenological approach to explore the experience of eight former attendees of the TAPP program. Participants (N = 8) completed interviews, wrote a personal reflection, and completed a survey to determine their beliefs regarding the program's effectiveness. Results showed that participants were satisfied with the practical help the program gave them. Being able to attend school where day care was available enabled participants to remain in school and, with one exception, to graduate from high school. Participants reported satisfaction with program components that helped them learn to plan ahead, think about their futures, and obtain further education and paid employment. All participants but one were gainfully employed, and six had attended or were attending an institution of higher education. The program was successful in encouraging participants to practice safer sex, but was unsuccessful in preventing additional pregnancies out of wedlock or improving moral values, as all but one participant had gone on to have more children and were living with a man to whom they were not married.