Teen Dad: Young Fathers and Identity Integration


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Katharine Hill


Early parenthood is a topic of concern for social workers, researchers and policy makers due to the consequences for both young parents and their children. Despite declining rates of teen parenthood in the United States, teen birthrates remain high compared to other developed nations. Teen fathers have received less attention than teen mothers, but are an important component in the area of study. This study examines how five young fathers handled the transition from child to adult when faced with an off-time developmental event. Young fathers experienced drastically altered life paths, need for financial resources, complicated romantic relationships, and rapidly changing demands to fulfill new roles. They were motivated to grow into their new status by the support of others, including social services, and by a sense of duty to become good fathers. The fathers in this study are remarkably positive about their experiences, despite challenges, a range of situations with the mothers of their children. The findings of this study are limited by a non-representative population, non-probability sampling method and small sample size. Implications for social work practice, policy and research are outlined.


teen father, identity integration, adolescent parent

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.