The study was to provide an approach to help teen-age unwed mothers increase their feelings of self-esteem and thereby attain a conceptual buffer for better coping with life. Self-esteem was defined as individual perception of the worth of oneself relative to that of significant others. The hypothesis tested was that the participating relationship a community health nurse has with a teen-age unwed mother will significantly increase the mother's self-esteem as measured by statistical Q-Sort analysis.

A convenience sample of twenty teen-age unwed mothers was obtained from referrals from San Bernardino County Health, Welfare, and Probation Departments. The girls were between the ages of fifteen and twenty, were pregnant for the first time, and did not live with the alleged father of the baby. Two months of weekly, forty-five minute home visits were made to the ten subjects in the control and the ten subjects in the experimental group. A very structured nursing-centered, prenatal instructional program was utilized in the control group visits. In the experimental group, the nurse fostered the participating relationship with free interaction (during discussions and any teaching) based on patient needs. Also, opportunity was afforded for identification with peers in similar circumstances, through participation in repressive-inspirational discussion groups.

A Q-Sort was developed and tested as the tool to measure change of self-esteem. Mean, standard deviation, correlation coefficient and t test were obtained on computerized data.

The findings indicated there is a highly significant increase of the teen-age unwed mother's self-esteem as a result of the participating nursing relationship.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Ruth M. White

Second Advisor

Richard Banks

Third Advisor

Ruth Wang

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Self Concept; Mothers -- in adolescence; Illegitimacy



Page Count

vii; 77

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives