Moms growing together: Piloting action methods and expressive arts in a therapeutic group for teen mothersedit
Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to test the safety, acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of Moms Growing Together (MGT), an intervention to prevent and reduce psychological distress in teen mothers. Study Design and Methods: A mixed method design was used. The primary outcomes were reported satisfaction with MGT (acceptance); successful recruitment and retention of teen mothers (feasibility); and prevention or reduction of psychological distress (safety and effectiveness). Summary scores on each of three symptom measures operationally defined psychological distress. Sixteen African‐American teen mothers participated in the study: eight in MGT and eight in a comparison group. Results: MGT was considered safe and acceptable. MGT had a negative small effect (effect size [ES] = –0.028) on decreasing depression in participants and a moderate effect in reducing anxiety (ES = 0.395) and trauma symptoms (ES = 0.521–0.554) relative to the comparison group. Prolonged recruitment limited feasibility. Conclusion: Because psychological distress casts a long shadow on teen mothers’ well‐being, developing teen‐friendly clinical programs that address their mental health is a high priority.