Date of Degree

2-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Roger Hart

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society | Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling

Keywords

teenage pregnancy, grandmothers, sandwich generation, club sandwich generation

Abstract

The transition into early parenthood also implies a shift to early grandparenthood for the parents of teenage parents. The stigmas and stereotypes associated with teenage pregnancy and parenthood are also experienced by their parents for the decisions their children have made. Furthermore, some of these grandparents are caregivers to aging parents while also parenting their younger children. These people, recently called, “the club sandwiched” generation, appear to be experiencing physical, social, economic, and psychological impacts because of their responsibilities of caring for three generations but have not yet received much attention in academic literature. Teenage pregnancy can affect any family. It crosses over racial, cultural, and socio-economic barriers. However, how families address and deal with the circumstances varies by class, race, and socio-economic status. Family dynamics differ and while similarities may occur between families of the same race, culture, and socio-economic class, every onset of teenage pregnancy is unique and affects each family differently. This thesis will attempt to enrich existing theory and research by critically examining the issue through an investigation of popular literature, websites, guidance materials, and the author’s own experience over seven years throughout her transition as the parent of a teenage parent while also caring for her elementary school-aged son, assisting her now-adult daughter with her two children and raising a high school-aged son.

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