The Youngest Parents by Daniel A. Coles

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Synopsis

Prominent child psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Coles asks us to shed our preconceptions and listen to the compelling voices of young women and men who are soon to become parents though barely out of childhood themselves.

These teenage parents are black, white, and Hispanic; city dwellers and residents of small towns. From conversations with these teenagers, Dr. Coles weaves a subtle yet dramatic narrative that reveals the aspirations and apprehensions of these "youngest parents" whose prospects aren't very promising and whose assumptions aren't always those he, or we, share. Young mothers don't have an easy time ahead of them, but many pregnant teens believe that the babies they carry will lead lives very different from their own, that their babies may find the success that eludes them and may escape the limitations they've suffered. Dr. Coles finds that the fathers' confusion and, sometimes, resentment give way to a deep longing for respect and a desire for a way out of lives limited by poverty and poor education. Dr. Coles's text is accompanied by photographic essays by two outstanding American photographers. Jocelyn Lee, a photographer based in Boston, lived intimately with young families in Massachusetts where she explored the daily lives of young parents. John Moses, a pediatrician and photographer, worked for several years with teenage parents in rural North Carolina, and his pictures show the pride and tenderness they've found in family life.
 

About Daniel A. Coles

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Boston-born psychiatrist and author Robert Martin Coles devoted his professional life to the psychology of children. Coles has been associated with the Harvard University Medical School since 1960. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his five-volume series entitled Children in Crisis, Coles has contributed hundreds of articles to popular magazines, as well as writing over thirty books for adults and children. Other books include The Mind's Fate, Flannery O'Connor's South, and Walker Percy: An American Search.
 
Published May 17, 1997 by W. W. Norton & Company. 223 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Young Adult, Parenting & Relationships, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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When Coles asks one young mother if welfare reform can break the cycle of poverty and dependence, she considers the difficulties of finding work and child care and says, ``You take welfare from us, we got nothing.'' A disturbing if inconclusive study, memorable for the voices of these young...

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Publishers Weekly

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Neither a celebration nor a condemnation, Pulitzer Prize-winning child psychiatrist Coles's poignant documentary is based on interviews conducted between 1987 and 1990 with pregnant teenagers and teen

Apr 28 1997 | Read Full Review of The Youngest Parents

Publishers Weekly

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Neither a celebration nor a condemnation, Pulitzer Prize-winning child psychiatrist Coles's poignant documentary is based on interviews conducted between 1987 and 1990 with pregnant teenagers and teen

Apr 28 1997 | Read Full Review of The Youngest Parents

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