Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


The purpose of this study was to examine the barriers that may prevent adolescent mothers from accessing social support. For the purpose of this study, the barriers examined were depression and self-esteem. The sample consisted of 50 adolescent mothers who were participants in several social service agencies located in western Massachusetts. The participants completed the Rosenberg Self Esteem scale, the Brief Symptom inventory scale, and a brief form used to gather basic demographic information. Case workers indicated what kinds of social support services the adolescents were engaged in at their programs. Adolescent mothers who were involved in one formal support were more likely to be involved in other formal supports. Hypotheses for this study were not supported; neither depression nor self-esteem were related to accession of social support in this study. These findings have a direct connection to clinical practice and treatment planning with adolescent mothers. If we assume based on the findings from this study that lack of depression and high self esteem are related to having social supports than it is important for clinicians who work with adolescent mothers and their families to be aware of the ameliorating factor social supports provide to adolescent mothers and their children. Clinicians need to be aware of an adolescent mothers social support network because studies indicate that social support decreases depression and increases self esteem for adolescent mothers.


iv, 73 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 58-62).