Home Institution

Vassar College

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment


Research on adolescent parenthood for a long time all but ignored the realities of adolescent fathers, butsignificant interest has arisen in the past decade in this area. In Chile, however, the literature remains scarce. The following study describes and analyzes adolescent paternity through the experiences of six young fathers. Individual interviews with the men touched on the ways in which they have handled the untimely transition to fatherhood, as well as the challenges and obstacles to active participation in their children’s lives. The fathers expressedhighly positive views of paternity and recognized the importance not only of their financial contribution but also their continual presence and emotional encouragement for their children’s sound development and the wellbeing of their partners. Significant challenges identified included the time constraints brought about by juggling school, work and family care, as well as tense relationships with the children’s mothers in some cases. The results contradict the common conception of adolescent fathers as disinterested, absent figures. They also highlight the need for improved economic and psychological support for adolescent fathers to enable them adapt fully to their fatherhood roles and advance educationally and professionally


Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Politics and Social Change | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Welfare


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