chapter  1
Beyond the Stereotypes: What Kind of Problem Is Teenage Parenting?
Pages 9

Research examining violence between adolescent mothers and their male partners is scarce. These women may be particularly at risk for domestic violence both as pregnant women and as adolescents entering serious dating relationships. Pregnant women have twice the risk of abuse by male partners as nonpregnant women and abuse frequently escalates in severity during pregnancy and the child's infancy. This chapter describes the rise in their own feelings of self-criticism and loss of self as they attempted to cope with their abusive partners. And it also explains the resources and personal changes that they experienced as they transitioned out of these abusive relationships. The qualitative data from the interviews with the young women who left abusive relationships by the 6-year follow-up reveal a great deal about the dynamic processes of coping with, leaving, and recovering from abusive relationships. Mothers who ended abusive relationships describe the loss and recovery of control over their own lives with a remarkable degree of self-awareness.