Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Violence Against Women 16:7(2010), pp 743- 763.

doi 10.1177/1077801210374866


Copyright © 2010 Rochelle L. Dalla, Alexandria M. Marchetti, Elizabeth (Beth) A. Sechrest, and Jennifer L. White. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


In 1992 and 1995, data were collected from 29 Navajo Native American adolescent mothers. In 2007 and 2008, data were collected from 21 of the original 29 (72%). Guided by feminist family theory, this investigation sought to (a) examine Navajo adolescent mothers’ intimate partner relationships during the transition to parenthood, (b) identify themes in the young mothers’ intimate partnerships across time, and (c) assess participants’ psychosocial well-being in adulthood. Four themes emerged in the women’s long-term intimate relationships: limited support, substance abuse, infidelity, and intimate partner violence. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.