Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Teenage mothers-Psychology, Foster children-Psychology, Self-efficacy, Self-efficacy-Christianity, Resilience (Personality trait) in adolescence, Young mothers, Transitional youth, Foster youth, Aging out, Strengths and resilience


This qualitative study explored how young mothers developed a sense of perceived parental self-efficacy, after transitioning out of the foster care system. The bulk of literature on young mothers and youth transitioning out of the foster care system focuses on risk factors, while this study focuses on how the strengths and resilience of transitioning young mothers supports them in developing self-efficacy despite facing immense obstacles. This study interviewed 12 transitioned mothers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Using convenience sampling, study participants were primarily African American and Christian. Through examining the individual experiences of these transitioned young mothers, this study found a number of salient themes supporting mothers in developing self-efficacy. These themes included participants having faith or belief in something bigger than themselves, having belief in themselves and positive self regard, and experiencing unconditional love in their relationships with their children.




iii, 69 p. : ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 49-54)