Housing trajectories of teen mothers and their families over 28 years.

Housing has received little attention in the research on teen mothers. A qualitative longitudinal study presented a unique opportunity to examine how teen mothers house their families over time. The study began in 1988 and has followed teen mothers and family members for 7 waves over 28 years. The 7th wave began in 2016. The specific aims of this substudy were to describe the housing trajectories of teen mothers over 28 years and to explore how their housing trajectories were shaped by family resources, housing programs, and discrimination. Data from 9 families were analyzed using interpretive phenomenology. Housing instability was pervasive for Black mothers who were disadvantaged as children. Their stories included many moves, doubling up, sending children to live with others, depression, unreliable partners, and racism. Housing instability was a source of toxic stress, interrupted personal and family goals, undermined family routines, and reflected a legacy of discriminatory housing policies. In contrast, White advantaged mothers were stably housed as children and adults, which reflected longstanding family resources, stable marriages, husbands’ steady employment, and tax deductions for homeownership. These stark differences in housing trajectories reflect and reproduce multigenerational social and health inequities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)