Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management


Anderson, Denise M

Committee Member

Barcelona , Robert

Committee Member

Mobley , Catherine

Committee Member

Schmalz , Dorothy


Pregnant adolescents are a unique group, they are not yet women, and not yet mothers. Adolescent pregnancy continues to be a social issue that has been given much attention; however, little research exists concerning the leisure of pregnant adolescents. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine pregnant adolescents' leisure experiences from their own standpoints. Standpoint theory, leisure constraints theory and ecological systems theory were used to frame the study. This phenomenological study gained an in-depth understanding of the leisure of nine pregnant teens enrolled in a school for pregnant and parenting teens located in a small city in the northwest of South Carolina. Participants engaged in an initial semi-structured interview after which they were asked to document their leisure through self-directed photos and corresponding reflection sheets. Once the photo elicitation process was complete, participants shared their documented leisure in a follow-up unstructured interview. Data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Findings suggest that adolescent pregnancy is not an easy adjustment for adolescents and greatly affects their leisure. The participants in this study described a lack of leisure during pregnancy and an unwillingness and inability to negotiate constraints to their leisure. The study also showed how the girls' interactions with their boyfriends influenced their leisure and described the differences in leisure during pregnancy for the participants and their boyfriends. Although the girls failed to negotiate constraints to their leisure, they acquired new types of leisure which came in the form of preparing for their unborn child's arrival. Most of the participants portrayed an optimistic outlook towards leisure once they became mothers and felt some of their pre-pregnancy leisure would return during motherhood. Although exploratory, this study has laid the groundwork for understanding and describing pregnant adolescents' leisure and offers suggestions and implications for recreation programming.