Perceived social support, self-esteem and teenage motherhood: respect and intrusion. Un study in Traiguen, Chile

When motherhood occurs in adolescence, women require a socio-emotional support that their family, partner and health staff cannot always provide, which leads to the development of low self-esteem and conflicts with the maternal role. This research addressed this phenomenon by exploring the relationship between perceived social support, self-esteem and motherhood through 15 interviews with adolescent mothers whose children were under 6 years old. The results showed that the participants perceive the support received in a range which varies from respectful to intrusive or outright dominant, which in turn has implications for their self-esteem and maternal autonomy. The conclusions encourage the rethinking of adolescent motherhood as a vital event that, despite being experienced with anguish, provides opportunities for personal development for women if they have adequate social support.

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