WHAT SOCIAL SUPPORTS SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT FOR PARENTING TEENS?
Background and Purpose: Historically, academics have recognized that adolescents who become pregnant tend to struggle with financial stability, are more likely to drop out of school, make less income, are less satisfied in relationships, and are less likely to graduate (Hoffman et al., 1993; Watson & Vogel, 2017). This study was inspired by the American Academy of Social Works and Social Welfare's "Grand Challenges for Social Work" project, which aims to solve the most challenging social problems in the United States (Grand Challenges for Social Work, 2021). Ultimately, it is critical to investigate the impediments that hinder teen parents from completing their education because of the lack of education's negative impact on the family, from health disparities to socioeconomic instability. Community Engagement: The study incorporated community input and literature review information as a cross-reference to identify gaps. A qualitative method with open interviews was used to gather data and analyze themes and subthemes. The data collected served as feedback on the literature reviewed and resource accessibility of this population. A complete picture of community collaboration will be outlined by cross-referencing the survey results with the literature, using a theoretical foundation of social learning theory and an analysis of the problems described. Conceptual Model: This research and project development foundation was grounded in social learning theory. Social learning theory helps individuals understand how the behaviors of children, adolescents, and adults are influenced by their environment, family dynamics, peers' interactions, and negative or positive visuals. Social Innovation: The proposal of a social innovation project was driven by the gathering of literature review, community participants, and stakeholders to develop a grandparent engagement program named "Building a Legacy." Assisting grandparents in understanding their roles will influence academic motivation through a social learning theory model that leads to academic success for teen parents. Evaluation: After each training, a post-evaluation will be given to help the facilitator determine if this curriculum will work. The goal of the post-evaluation is to find out if this curriculum gave helpful background information if it changed their point of view, and if it helped participants learn more about how to deal with being a teen parent and how important education is. Using the SPSS program, a quantitative study design will be used to measure the impact of grandparent support on the curriculum to help teen parents. Conclusion: Even though the rates of teen parenting have decreased, there is not much being done in terms of community-based support or grandparent engagement for teen parents to increase their likelihood of obtaining a higher education. Grandparents are associated with higher educational outcomes for teen parents, but the community programs do not have grandparent participation in helping explain the impact and outcomes. It is essential to investigate strategies to reduce obstacles and boost grandparent engagement for adolescent parents to increase the likelihood of better academic futures.
A capstone project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Social Work
Social Work, Education