Date of Award

Spring 1985

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

Albert Ayars

Committee Member

John DeRolf

Committee Member

Katie Deeton


As adolescent pregnancy becomes more prevalent and funds for social programs diminish, the need to define the parameters of successful educational programs for pregnant teens becomes clear. This dissertation evaluated four programs to determine the effect of centralization of instruction and the length of time a student spent in her program on self-concept, vocational awareness, academic achievement, attendance and return to regularly assigned school.

The researcher administered the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale and the Holland Self-Directed Search to 125 female students. Data were also gathered from school records on the remaining variables. Qualitative data were gathered to supplement quantitative data. Interviews were conducted with program personnel and administrators, and with randomly selected students and their families.

Based on the quantitative data, a homogeneous group of teenagers emerged. Student-mothers had mothers who themselves had children young and without the ongoing support of their male partners. Many students had older family members in the same situation.

The qualitative data permitted a weak conclusion that the centralized program linked to other community agencies offered a superior program of continuing education to pregnant teens. The program occupied a single-story facility unshared with any unrelated activity. Federal breakfast and lunch programs were available. Business and homemaking classes were held at the school rather than at a distant site. Infant day care was available at the school.

A serendipitous finding concerned the correlation between one factor score and the total self-concept. For this sample of pregnant teens, a high positive correlation (r = .8068) was found between the 12-item anxiety factor and the total self-concept. Further research is in progress to determine if this correlation holds true for both sexes and all ages. If so, school personnel would have a brief, easily-administered indicator of possible self-concept deficits.