Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Jessica Polzer

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the ways the health-related and everyday lived experiences of young mothers are shaped by various social determinants, and in the context of their neighbourhood. Using a critical qualitative methodology, five mothers between the ages of 17 to 19 were interviewed from Rexdale, a neighbourhood in the City of Toronto characterized by a number of social risk factors(e.g. high rates of visible minorities, unemployment, and teen mothers). In-depth thematic analysis led to the emergence of four themes: 1) Living in Rexdale: Representations and realities; 2) Leaving Rexdale and wanting something better; 3) Being stuck: Between desire and constraint and; 4) Isolation and support. The results demonstrate the complex ways in which determinants such as gender, class, violence and stigmatizing representations of teen mothers intersect to shape the health-related and everyday lived experiences of young mothers in Rexdale.