Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Donald C. Weaver

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Brown

Third Advisor

Dr. Franklin G. Fisk


The purpose of the study was to develop and validate a model to retain adolescent child-bearers in the Jamaican school system. More specifically, the study was concerned with retaining pregnant students and adolescent parents in Jamaican secondary schools.

The analytical bases of the model were: (1) A review of the literature in adolescent child-bearing in Jamaica and the United States. (2) A survey of programmes which currently deliver comprehensive services to pregnant students and adolescent parents in Michigan. Five programmes were surveyed. (3) Validation by a panel of Jamaican professionals.

The review of the relevant literature and the programme survey indicated that adolescent child-bearing has serious medical and social implications for both Jamaica and the United States. The literature review and the programme survey both indicated that intervention programmes have been used successfully in the United States to reduce the adverse effects of the phenomenon.

On the basis of that finding, a model was developed to propose a programme to mitigate the adverse effects of adolescent child-bearing in Jamaica. The model for Retaining Pregnant Adolescents and School-Age Parents in Jamaican Secondary Schools (MRPA) is a systematic, non-mathematical change model. The six stages of the model--problem analysis, need definition, goal-setting, resource identification, implementation and control--indicate a dynamic mode. This mode is consistent with the social context of the problem.

The model was validated by a panel of five members, each of whom had demonstrated expertise in the area of adolescent sexuality and was knowledgeable regarding the Jamaican society and educational systems. Criteria applied to the selection of the validation panel included knowledgeability, expertise, availability and group size.

The validation of the model was in two stages. First a self-administered validation questionnaire was completed by each validator. Scheduled interviews with each validator followed the completion of the questionnaire. Results of the validation indicated that with some modification the MRPA is appropriate to be implemented in Jamaican secondary schools. Modifications to the model were made, based on the findings from the validation process.

Implementation of the model in the Jamaican school system was intended to: (1) Reduce the incidence of pregnancy-related drop-out from Jamaican secondary schools. (2) Increase the chances for economic self-support among adolescent parents. (3) Have a positive effect on decreasng the rate of adolescent child-bearing in Jamaica.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access