Complex lives: young motherhood, homelessness and partner relationships
Source TitleJournal of the Association for Research on Mothering.
University of Melbourne Author/sKEYS, Deborah W.
AffiliationMedicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences: Key Centre for Women's Health in Society
Document TypeJournal (Paginated)
CitationsKeys, D. (2007). Complex lives: young motherhood, homelessness and partner relationships. Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, Young Mothers Special Edition, 9(1),101-110.
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
Publisher’s permission requested and denied 19/8/08
Research has focused on identifying commonalities amongst women who give birth whilst young. This article, which reports on how young mothers experience and understand their relationships with the fathers of their children, seeks to convey the heterogeneity of young mothers and their lives. It draws upon interviews with 24 young women who experienced motherhood within the context of homelessness in Australia. For some, motherhood had preceded, or indeed provoked, homelessness; for others pregnancy had occurred during, or subsequent to, a period of homelessness. This article explores the ways in which partner relationships intersected with the experience of motherhood. The interviews highlighted the diverse and shifting nature of young women’s relationships with the fathers of their children and demonstrated that categorizing young mothers as single or partnered obscures the more complex reality of lived experience. Expectations of partners varied greatly. Most of the young mothers grew up in single parent households and some regarded partners as extraneous. A key feature of many of the young mothers’ stories was that of ‘growing up’ and fulfilling the responsibilities of parenthood. The fathers were similarly expected to take on the role of fatherhood. For several young women, motherhood was associated with a newfound sense of agency and independence which impacted on their existing relationships and their views about relationships in the future.
Keywordshomelessness; motherhood; teeenage pregnancy
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References