A multiple case study of decision making and critical thinking skills among unwed adolescent mothers

Ndala Marleyne Gooding Booker, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of pregnant adolescents regarding social, personal, emotional, and relational factors that influence the decisions they make concerning their sexual relationships in high school. A secondary purpose of this study was to identify how mature women who were pregnant as adolescents reflect upon the factors influencing the decisions they made as adolescents. Interview participants readily shared their experience as adolescents in elementary and secondary school, and the methods with which they began to make decisions. It was concluded that many students glean information related to decision-making regarding sexual behavior from the media or their friends. Overall, qualitative analysis revealed that the skill level of decision making and critical thinking among high school females with regard to socio-sexual behavior is poor. With both adult women who had previously had children in their teens and adolescents who were either currently pregnant or had recently given birth and were already parenting, interviews revealed that there is a great need for more educational intervention in these areas at an earlier level of education. Courses in decision-making and critical thinking in regards to socio-sexual behavior should begin before female students enter high school. It would be beneficial for female students to have courses that include character building components, as well as practical methods of presenting skills that build self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, which would allow female students to begin to have good ideas about themselves earlier on in the educational process. It would also be beneficial to have courses that teach adolescent development and adolescent psychology in an age appropriate manner. As students learn healthy methods of decision-making, critical thinking, and development of self, they can then make informed decisions to protect their health, both mental and physical, which could allow for a more positive, safe, and uplifting educational environment.

Subject Area

Social research|Behavioral psychology|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Ndala Marleyne Gooding Booker, "A multiple case study of decision making and critical thinking skills among unwed adolescent mothers" (2011). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3487137.