Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Debora Rice, Phd


Among western industrialized countries, the United States has the highest teen birth rate; Alabama ranks 9th in the nation. Teen pregnancy and parenting often lead to financial, social, and health problems. The purpose of this action research project was to capture the experiences of social workers who work with pregnant or parenting teens in Alabama, including perceptions of Alabama’s opt-out policy for sexual education and strategies used to address teen’s beliefs, attitudes, and values about sexual behavior. Social learning theory was the theoretical framework. Data were collected through a focus group of 12 social workers with practice experience working with pregnant or parenting teens. By using thematic analysis, 4 themes were identified, including addressing teen’s perception of pregnancy as glamorous and increasing education, support, and resources for this population. By using the recommendations outlined in the study, social workers may be better able to assist pregnant or parenting teens as well as address the risk factors associated with teen pregnancy.

Included in

Social Work Commons