VISTAS Client Characteristics and Needs

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Factors Influencing High School Dropout among Teenage Mothers using Measurement Development.

Valerie McGaha-Garnett and Hansel Burley


Students with multiple risk factors have a higher likelihood of high school dropout. High-risk factors associated with dropout are poor academic performance, repeat of one or more grades, low socioeconomic status, English as a second language, pregnancy, and frequent absences/truancy (Baker, Sigmon, & Nugent, 2001). Other factors associated with dropout risk are prenatal complications and infant care. The transition of motherhood may present medical complications for the mother and/or child that may hinder a teen’s ability to attend school and complete the necessary academic requirements. Medical complications are the increased likelihood of having a premature infant. Infants who are born prematurely are more likely to be placed in Neonatal Intensive Care and may suffer from heart and lung problems and poor growth. Given the importance of understanding and effectively addressing the factors that may potentially limit a young mother’s desire to succeed, counselors and school administrators should understand the needs of young mothers. The current study focuses on the academic, personal, and social factors contributing towards high school completion.

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