Educational Experiences of Adolescent Mothers while Studying College in the Philippines

Author: Ryan Ray G. Gatbonton, Adamson University, Philippines
Published: February 19, 2021

Citation: Gatbonton, R. R. G. (2021). Educational Experiences of Adolescent Mothers while Studying College in the Philippines, 9(1).


Adolescent pregnancy is a significant societal issue that results in lost opportunities for teenage girls in both developed and developing countries. This phenomenological research study explored the lived experience of adolescent mothers during their college years. Eight participants were asked, via unstructured interview, to share their experiences as college students in the midst of pregnancy. Data was analyzed using Collaizi’s method, while member checks and expert audits of interview outputs were done to ensure trustworthiness. Results show that the participants went through several stages in their plight: they faced the complexities of adolescent pregnancy alongside college education; dealt with life and educational conflicts; appreciated the importance of education; found the resolve to carry on for their child; and dreamt of a better future for their families. These findings were clustered into themes and related to Parson’s Adaptation, Goal Attainment, Integration, and Latency theory, as adolescent pregnancy paved the way for teenagers to assimilate society’s expectations of responsible adulthood. Consistent with academic literature, the participants’ experiences show that adolescent mothers are vulnerable in the education setting, and need proper guidance to achieve their full potential. This research can serve as groundwork for initiating several educational reforms. A multicomponent intervention program was developed that is rooted in school and community partnerships.


adolescent development, educational resilience, inclusive education