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Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute

Research project: Outcomes of teenage parenthood for mothers, fathers and children

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This was a two year project funded jointly by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit & Department of Health.

S3RI Member: Ann Berrington, Peter W.F. Smith
Collaborators: Ian Diamond (Division of Social Statistics),
Roger Ingham and Jim Stevenson (School of Psychology)
Research Staff: Riccardo Borgoni, Isabel Cobos Hernández


The project had two aims. First, to assess over the medium to long term, and for a range of outcomes, the consequences of teenage births for mothers, fathers and children using a range of secondary datasets. The second aim was to use the results of these analyses to identify pathways by which the negative impacts of teenage childbearing could potentially be minimised.

The research was grounded within a conceptual framework which sees teenage childbearing as a result of a complex series of individual, family and societal factors. Consequences of early parenthood are dependent on these factors and on mediating factors following the birth, which include relationships, the mother's health, levels of instrumental and social support, financial circumstances and so on. The framework highlighted the need to investigate simultaneously the outcomes for mothers, fathers and their children so as to understand the interdependencies between them.

Secondary analysis of existing large scale longitudinal and cross-sectional datasets included the 1970 Birth Cohort (BCS70), and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).We investigated how the subsequent life course experiences of young parents and their children differs from that of older parents. The experience of young parents was also compared to those who have not yet experienced parenthood. Various multivariate analyses, including path analysis and graphical modelling, were used to investigate associations between young parenthood and outcomes for mothers, fathers and their children.

Findings from the project are available in the final report to the Dcfs and S3RI working papers:

Berrington, A., Cobos Hernandez, M.I., I. Ingham, R. and Stevenson, J. (2005). Antecedents and Outcomes of Young Fatherhood: Longitudinal evidence from the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study. S3RI working paper A05/09.

Berrington, A., Diamond, I., Ingham, R. and Stevenson, J. with Borgoni, R., Cobos Hernández, M. I. and Smith, P. W. F. (2005). Consequences of Teenage Parenthood: Pathways which mimimise the long term negative impacts of teenage childbearing. Report to Department for Children, Schools and Families, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Borgoni, R., Berrington, A. and Smith, P.W. (2004).Selecting and fitting graphical chain models to longitudinal data. S3RI working paper M04/05.

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