Date of Conferral





Public Health


Srikanta K. Banerjee


The study institution is a non-profit organization with a model developed from the continuous implementation of needs assessments of the families of adolescent parents in Puerto Rico, with the purpose of increasing their social inclusion potential. Addressing social exclusion and stigmatization of adolescent parents is vital because it generates a dual benefit for social interactions and growth. The social inclusion concept used and further elaborated for adolescent mothers is described by researchers as the level of access to engaging with institutions and societal relationships. This program evaluation was developed to understand the outcomes and effectiveness of the organization's social inclusion interventions. There is a gap in knowledge for comprehensive and family-centered adolescent parent's programs related to their potential for social inclusion. Guided by complex systems theory, the key research questions were designed to assess the potential gains in social inclusion characteristics for the organization's participants. The study utilized organizational, administrative data and used a pre- and post-test design with a comparison group. McNemar test findings indicated statistically significant increase for the intervention group regarding their social inclusion (p < .001); while Wilcoxon test findings indicated statistically significant gain in nurturing family environments (p = .006) and socio-economic positions (p < .001). Further research is recommended to assess the life-course protective factors' characteristics and the social inclusion pathways. The positive social change includes further understanding of social inclusion for adolescent mothers and its related ecological perspectives.