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Research project: Early parenthood and teenage pregnancy

Currently Active: 

Although early pregnancy and motherhood has been shown to be, in some instances, a positive experience for young women, teenage pregnancy and early parenthood is often a consequence of, and cause of, social exclusion.

Past and present projects exploring teenage pregnancy and early parenthood:

Predicting outcomes of teenage motherhood

This project was one of a programme of nine jointly funded by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit and the Policy Research Programme, Department of Health. Using data from two large longitudinal cohort surveys (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC) and the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study (BCS70)) we explored aspects of teenage parenthood and its impact for mothers, fathers and their children. Importantly the research confirmed that measures taken when the individual was aged 10, such as conduct disorder, parental aspirations, educational achievement, are found to be important predictors of early parenthood, over and above effects of other background factors. Teenage motherhood is an important independent predictor of poor mental and physical health in adulthood. The study concludes that the poorer mental health of teenage mothers has implications for the next generation and contributes to the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.

Funding - Teenage Pregnancy Unit, Policy Research Programme, Department of Health

Factors affecting changes in rates of teenage conceptions

This study explored the factors which help account for the variations in rates of change in teenage conceptions between 1991 and 1997. The activities involved:

  • identification of the health authorities that showed the twenty largest increases in rates and the twenty largest decreases over the period in question; 
  • exploring the relationship between changes in under 16-rates, change in rates amongst other age groups, and deprivation levels of the health authorities; and 
  • discussions with key informants in each site on the extent and nature of policy initiatives, population changes, and any other factors felt to be relevant over the period in question, and ascertaining whether there are consistent patterns which help account for the variation.

Funding - Teenage Pregnancy Unit, Department of Education and Skills

Modelling the spatial variation in teenage conceptions in south and west England

This study attempted to determine which factors account for the spatial variation in teenage conception rates within south and west England and what factors account for the eventual outcomes of these conceptions. Postcoded data on all teenage conceptions from 1991 to 1996 were collected and related to census ward level information and indicators of accessibility to and effectiveness of family planning services.

Funding - South & West RHA

Related research groups

Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)


Book Chapters


Working Papers

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