Register for the August 29 Transitions ACR webinar
A Challenging Yet Motivating Journey: The Experiences of Young Adult Parents with Serious Mental Health ConditionsDate Posted: Wednesday, August 01, 2018
The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research is proud to present A Challenging Yet Motivating Journey: The Experiences of Young Adult Parents with Serious Mental Health Conditions.
Date/Time: Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Presenters: Emma Pici-D’Ottavio, B.A and Jennifer Whitney
Research shows that people with serious mental health conditions tend to become parents at a younger age than their peers. This webinar will describe findings from qualitative interviews with 19 young adult parents (ages 22-30) living with serious mental health conditions. These personal narratives provide valuable insight on the unique experiences of young adult parents, a population that has received little attention. Common challenges included childcare, co-parenting, custody arrangements, and housing instability. Some young parents also reported instances of discrimination or shame due to being a parent with a serious mental health condition. Despite the challenges, parenting appeared to be a motivating force for recovery. Many revealed that having children brought meaning and purpose to their lives and inspired positive change. The webinar will conclude with a personal story about a young mother’s experience caring for her child and overcoming obstacles while living with a serious mental health condition. Implications to support young adult parents and future directions for research will be discussed.
Emma Pici-D’Ottavio, B.A., is a Research Coordinator at the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research within the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In this role, Emma assists in the management of several research projects. She has experience with a variety of data collection techniques including in-depth qualitative interviewing and was the primary interviewer for the study presented in the webinar. Emma also leads data analysis and values the integration of lived experience in the interpretation and dissemination of research findings. Emma is passionate about improving youth mental health services and plans to pursue a career in art therapy in the future.
Jennifer Whitney is a Research Technician Assistant at the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research within the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has worked at the center for over 8 years. Currently, Jennifer assists with Knowledge Translation activities including authoring tip sheets and other published products for young adults. She also provides behind-the-scenes Technical Assistance support. Jennifer is a passionate advocate and supporter for young adult parents who experience mental health challenges. Her interests include disseminating research findings and useful mental health information to the community.