'Mom, I'm pregnant.': The adolescent pregnancy reveal

Article, Refereed Journal
Social Service Review, Volume 94, Number 2
Cover: Social Service Review

The pregnancy reveal is conventionally a celebratory occasion, but for a pregnant adolescent, sharing news of a pregnancy, particularly with parents, can be a daunting prospect. Nonetheless, given the importance of social support to pregnant and parenting adolescents' success, the pregnancy reveal is an important step toward making healthy pregnancy decisions. Drawing on data from 27 in-depth interviews with young parents in Texas who were peer educators in an adolescent pregnancy prevention program, we find that adolescents often delay telling parents about a pregnancy. The complex decision-making process they undergo as they consider how and from whom to seek help can be drawn out, sometimes well into the second trimester, potentially delaying prenatal care and other steps necessary for a healthy pregnancy. This finding suggests that the delay and its consequences warrant further research and may have implications for parents' and practitioners' conversations with adolescents about sexual and reproductive health.

Research Topic
Family Policy