READINESS OF ADOLESCENT MOTHERS FOR PARENTING ROLES: EXPERIENCE OF ADOLESCENT MOTHERS IN THE UPPER NORTHERN PART OF THAILAND
The rates of teenage pregnancy in Thailand are still on the rise. Due to this, many adolescent girls, therefore, become teenage mothers who have to fulfill many new roles without adequate social and family support. This qualitative study aimed to describe experience and readiness of adolescent mothers for parenting. Twelve teenage mothers aged between 18-20 years old and their significant others comprised the study participants. In-depth interviews and participant observation were used for data collection. Thematic analysis was performed. The findings are as follows: (1) unplanned beginning, (2) planned/unplanned motherhood and mothering depend on different factors, and (3) the meanings of mothering/parenting readiness. Parenting readiness was defined as educational success and social achievements, successful psychological adaptation, and family and social support. Health professionals and family should ensure that factors affecting parenting readiness are addressed throughout pregnancy and childbearing period to lessen the negative impacts of adolescent motherhood and improve the ability of adolescent mothers to carry out their parenting roles.