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Understanding the Needs of Young Parents and the Best Approaches for Serving Them.

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Child and Family Research Partnership.
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Becoming a parent is a challenging transition for any new parent, but it can be especially difficult for young parents—those between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. To better understand the unique needs and challenges of this population, CFRP conducted a series of focus groups in three locations throughout Texas with young mothers, young fathers, and service providers who work with young parents. Our findings show that young fathers and young mothers struggle to balance school, work, and family life, and that they need mentors to help usher them into adulthood and parenthood. Young parents need mental and emotional support, as well as support in their relationships with their partner, parents, and peers. Young fathers specifically need assistance in developing expectations about their new role as father, especially because many lacked father figures growing up. Additionally, information sharing and service delivery to young parents can be more effective by addressing gender biases and age assumptions about this group of parents. These findings can help service providers better align their services with the needs of young parents and understand what approaches work best in serving this population.

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