Italian psychologists’ and midwives’ perceptions of the pregnant teen: a qualitative study

Emanuela Confalonieri, Chiara Ionio, Maria Giulia Olivari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although debate on adolescent pregnancies has continued for many years, only a few studies have paid attention to the attitudes of health workers and their perceptions of these teens. Objective: The main purpose of this study was to investigate and describe midwives’ and psychologists’ percep- tions of the pregnant teens arriving at the health centres – either who wanted to become mothers or to interrupt pregnancy – analysing health workers’ reflec- tions on their experiences of caring for these teens during pregnancy in the Ital- ian context. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 22 health workers in order to describe their perceptions of Italian pregnant adolescents. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Data analysis identified three themes arising from health workers narrations: ‘teen identities’, with the subthe- mes confused teens, omnipotent teens and immigrant teens; ‘maternal bonding’, with the subthemes supportive mothers and self-centred mothers; and ‘social support demand’, with the subthemes support-seeking teens, self-excluded teens and unsupportive young partners. Conclusion: The results provide an interesting picture of health workers’ perceptions of Italian pregnant adolescents adding new knowledge that will be useful for better planning interventions with preg- nant teenagers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-353
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • midwives
  • perceptions
  • pregnancy
  • termination of pregnancy


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