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uni'wissen 01(3)-2011_ENG

tionnaire. 15 schools of various kinds in the dis- tricts of Lörrach, Waldhut, and Ortenau partici- pated in the study. 778 questionnaires were returned by March 2009. The response rate among teenage parents, on the other hand, is still relatively low at 41 questionnaires. “We’re still waiting for questionnaires and will also dis- tribute more of them.” In addition to this quantitative study, the re- searchers are also conducting case studies to learn more about qualitative aspects of teenage parenthood: In three support organizations for mothers and children, they documented nine sets of parents with their child. In order to under- stand the relationships between them, the re- searchers recorded videos of the parents taking turns playing with their childmother and child, fa- ther and child, all three together. The camera documented the eye movements, gestures, and facial expressions of all three, and their verbal communication was also recorded. Since the sci- entists are interested in the development of par- ent-child relationships, they are staging every playing session twice whenever possible: once when the child is between three and six months old, and again when he or she is nine months old. The researchers also ask the underage mothers and young fathers to tell their life stories on cam- era and conduct guided interviews with them. The counselors at the organizations are also asked to comment on the parent-child relation- ships. For this reason, the researchers selected parents who are in regular contact with each oth- er and are making an effort to raise their child together. This is extremely difficult, says Fuchs. “We’re just now watching and analyzing the syn- chronized films.” One of the initial findings of the analysis is that the young fathers are as inter- ested as the mothers in forming a relationship with their babies, and that they succeed in doing so: “We have experienced them as very consci- entious, very sensitive despite the great pres- sure they are under.” It will be two years before all of the results are in. The Stifterverband has indicated that it would be willing to extend fund- ing for the project. And why is Catholic welfare studies the right discipline to fill this research gap? Klaus Bau- mann speaks of the theological value of the proj- ect, its ultimate goal of promoting social skills: “Ultimately, our project is about supporting young people in need.” The most important thing for the researchers is to help the youths do what they can do, not to point out what they can’t do. “Oth- er studies have focused primarily on pointing out the shortcomings of teenage parents and deter- mining how they can be overcome by way of ex- ternal help. We, on the other hand, are interest- ed in the skills of young people and how we can promote them both in the context of parenthood and in that of growing up, which is accelerated when one has children.” “Instead of integrating young fathers, they ­often regard them as a source of disturbance from the outset” Teenage fathers have been ignored by research. The Freiburg research team aims to fill this ­research gap. Photo: eyezoom1000/ Fotolia Further Reading Baumann, K. (2008): Triadische Beziehung. Martin Buber weiterdenken – ein Versuch. In: Katholische Ärztearbeit Deutschlands (Eds.): „Rückfrage bei Martin Buber – Leben ist ­Beziehung“ – „Abschiednehmen“ – „Auf der ­Suche nach Gewissheit – Nachfrage bei John Henry Newman“ – „Die posttraumatische ­Belastungsstörung“. Ahrweiler, p. 55–74. Fuchs, D. (1999): Beziehungsmuster in ­Lebensgeschichten – Konzeption und Beispiele sozialarbeitswissenschaftlicher Biografie­ forschung unter Aspekten von Ko-Präsens und Ko-Konstruktion. Würzburg. Fuchs, D. (1996): Offene Türen für Väter. Von der Bedeutung des Männlichen in der Erzie- hung. In: Kindergarten heute 26 / 7–8, p. 3–9. 38 uni'wissen 03