The focus of this proposed 36-month qualitative continuation project is to investigate the influence of motherhood on the lifestyles of female gang members, who are either pregnant or mothers.
Our aim i s to widen and extend our on-going research on homegirls (female gang members) and alcohol consumption (NIAAA R01 AA11971). We will examine the influences of the process of motherhood (from pregnancy to parenthood) by focusing on: 1) their involvement and membership in the gang; 2) their alcohol consumption and drinking practices; and 3) other related high-risk behaviors, including drug use, violence and gang related criminal activities. In spite of extensive research on teenage pregnancy and motherhood, research on homegirls who are either pregnant or have children is comparatively sparse. Using primarily qualitative and ethnographic research methods, we plan to locate and interview 180 homegirls, who are either pregnant or have children, from each of the three major ethnic groups -- African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American. By utilizing: 1) a pre-coded descriptive data form, 2) a pregnancy and motherhood time line, and 3) a life history, family gang and motherhood semi-structured interview schedule, we will examine the influence of pregnancy and motherhood on the lives of homegirls and especially the possible effects on their alcohol consumption. This project is important for two reasons: First, given the special circumstances of this group of high risk young women, including the high prevalence of pregnancy and heavy use of alcohol coupled with the high risk nature of the environments in which they operate, this population is a particularly important group of high risk adolescent girls on which to conduct research. Second, it will highlight the extent to which adolescent homegirls modify their alcohol consumption during each trimester during pregnancy and once they become mothers. Information from this project will provide important data in assisting community based organizations design counseling, prenatal, parenting and prevention programs specifically suited for the needs of this high risk group of adolescents and their children.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SNEM-4 (04))
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Salaita, Kathy
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Scientific Analysis Corporation
San Francisco
United States
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Hunt, Geoffrey; Moloney, Molly; Joe-Laidler, Karen et al. (2011) Young Mother (in the) Hood: Gang Girls' Negotiation of New Identities. J Youth Stud 14:1-19