Examining the lives of Navajo Native American Teenage Mothers in context: A 12- to 15-year follow-up

Rochelle L. Dalla, Susan B. Jacobs-Hagen, Betsy K. Jareske, Julie L. Sukup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In 1992 and 1995, data were collected from 29 Navajo, reservation-residing teenage mothers. In 2007, follow-up data from 69% (n = 20) of the original sample were collected. Intensive interviews, grounded in ecological systems theory (U. Bronfenbrenner, 1989), allowed for contextual examination of the women's developmental trajectories. Significant educational accomplishments and a strong work ethic (i.e., individual level) exemplified the majority of respondents. Relationships with families of origin and intimate partners (i.e., microsystems) and connections between these (i.e., mesosystems) promoted and challenged participants' optimal development and were significantly influenced by macrosystem factors (e.g., economic constraints, physical isolation). Implications for service provision and continued research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-161
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Developmental trajectories
  • Environmental and Social contexts
  • Navajo Native Americans
  • Systems theory
  • Teenage parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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