Whitney Lewis

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The purpose of this secondary analysis was to explore the history of violence and a fear of loss of personal control during birth upon the adolescent’s perception of the birth experience. Adolescent mothers (13-19 years old; N=303) from two postpartum units at a large county hospital provided data through the Impact of Event Scale, survey questions, and single item rating scales. Perception of a negative birth experience more likely characterized adolescents with either a history of violence or fear of loss of control at birth, reported high stress, single status, or cesarean birth. Black adolescents were most vulnerable to experiencing a negative birth, and more often reported significant risk factors. The negative impacts of these variables upon birth perception highlights the importance of early prenatal assessments, monitoring during birth, and postpartum follow-up, especially for more at-risk ethnic groups. Study insights add to an evidence-based practice model aimed at promoting a positive birth perception for adolescents.

Publication Date






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