Calling teen mothers

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

More than 500 adolescent mothers will carry wireless phones day and night during a new nationwide study so researchers can find out instantly what the teens are doing in caring for their babies.

The five-year project, directed by John Borkowski, McKenna Family Professor of Psychology, aims to predict child neglect and also develop strategies to improve cognitive and emotional development in children born to adolescent mothers.

Centennial Wireless of Fort Wayne, Indiana, donated phones and airtime worth $120,000 to the project, which also will involve intensive face-to-face interviews. Also working on the project will be anthropologist James J. McKenna, director of the Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Center, Notre Dame staff members, and scholars and professionals from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Kansas and Georgetown University.