Health visitors' perceptions and experiences of teenage mothers' support groups: A qualitative study

Grace Niven, Angela Dow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to explore health visitors' perceptions about the provision of a locally facilitated teenage mothers' support group. A phenomenological approach was used and data were collected from a sample of six health visitors via semi-structured interviews. Six themes were identified: accessibility; support; knowledge and skills; group dynamics; relationships; and openness. Four subthemes were identified: barriers to accessing young mothers' support groups; normalising access to young mothers' support groups; support from the health visitor; and peer support from attending young mothers' groups. Drawing on the concept of social support theory, the findings suggest that health visitors believe there is a need for teenage mothers' support groups, and that these should be normalised within communities and be accessible. In addition, health visitors should facilitate these groups due to their professional education, knowledge and the relationships they have with young mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Health Visiting
Issue number5
Early online date16 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2016


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