Original Articles

Identifying and Dealing with the Adaptability Needs of an Unwed Pregnant Teenager

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 2, 2011 , pages: 211–219
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820449
Author(s): Jacobus G. MareeUniversity of Pretoria, South Africa, Esta HansenUniversity of Pretoria, South Africa


This article describes a way of identifying and dealing with the adaptability needs of a pregnant teenager from a life design perspective. The participant was selected purposively from among a group of undergraduate students at an institution for unwed mothers. The intervention involved life design counselling and occurred over a period of three months. Data on participant adaptability needs to facilitate life design counselling were gathered using the Career Adapt-Abilities Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, as well as qualitative techniques (including the Career Interest Profile, a genogram, a lifeline, a collage, idioms and role models). Following the intervention, the participant revealed heightened self-insight with regard to her personal experiences, a ‘changed’ experience in respect of certain aspects of her context and pro-active behaviour with regard to the challenges she was facing. The process of life design can have a positive effect on an unwed pregnant teenager.

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