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Exploring the Experiences of ‘Young Mums’ in Education

Thompson, Sarah (2018) Exploring the Experiences of ‘Young Mums’ in Education. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Young Mums are a vulnerable group due to their marginalised status. This is a social justice piece of research, aiming to challenge existing stereotypes and to understand the experiences of some young Mums. Situated within a critical realist paradigm and employing narrative analysis techniques, semi-structured interviews were conducted with two participants who were attending school when they became pregnant. The interview transcripts were then analysed using thematic, structural and linguistic narrative analysis techniques. Findings were considered for two focus areas per participant. Changing Relationships and Educational Decisions for Sasha. Finding intimacy and Dependency for Nicole. Their stories demonstrate diversity in their experience of young motherhood. Overall findings relating to relationships, motherhood, resources, prejudice and emotional health, were discussed in terms of the previous literature. As a qualitative piece of research, the findings cannot be generalised to young mothers as a group and indeed the diversity of the two participants experiences would persuade against any overgeneralisations. Nonetheless the findings may be useful in helping professionals consider some of the potential needs of young mothers. Young motherhood may be a volatile time in terms of relationships, with relationships affected by social rejection, emotional stress, changing identities and changing priorities and commitments. High aspirations and strong educational identities may hinder a young Mums ability to embrace motherhood. Even for those who immediately embrace motherhood, stigmatization, lack of support and medical difficulties may affect their ability to form positive identities as competent mothers. For some young Mums previously disengaged with education, success at motherhood and a desire to provide for their child may start to change their beliefs in terms of the value of education. However, access to education may be affected by stigmatization, lack of flexibility in educational systems, relationship with staff, separation from child and financial considerations.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.749476
Depositing User: Dr Sarah Thompson
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 15:52
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:55
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20806

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