Research abstracts: teenage parents

Title: Young mothers and care system: contextualizing risk and vulnerability
Author: Barn, Ravinder; Mantovani, Nadia
Reference: British Journal of Social Work, 37(2), February 2007, pp.225-243

Although the UK has the highest levels of teenage pregnancy in western Europe, and while adolescent mothering has received considerable recent attention from researchers, there is a paucity of research literature about the particular experiences of young women who become mothers in or following local authority care. Findings from this empirical study reveal the significance of risk and vulnerability faced by a group of 55 young mothers following their exit from care. This paper explores the impact of risk and vulnerability and also highlights that although pregnancy may not be a planned activity, young women demonstrate choice and rationality in their decision to become mothers.

Title: “Someone of your own to love”: experiences of being looked after as influences on teenage pregnancy
Knight, Abigail; Chase, Elaine; Aggleton, Peter
Reference: Children and Society, 20(5), November 2006, pp391-403

The young people in this study reported feelings of loneliness, rejection, stigma and not being able to trust others, emotions which seriously influenced their decisions about becoming parents. The findings suggest that such young people may benefit from a greater degree of emotional and practical support throughout their lives in care.

Title: Dealing with it”: Experiences of young fathers in and leaving care
Tyrer, Paul et al
Reference: British Journal of Social Work, 35(7), October 2005, pp.1107-1121

The overall aims of this study were to explore factors contributing to early pregnancy and parenthood among young people in and leaving local authority care to determine the kinds of support available to these young people and to identify what enables or prevents the delivery of the support they need. The study analyses data of relevance to the experience of young fathers who have been looked after to consider how the needs of these young men might be better addressed through policy and practice. In-depth interviews conducted with young fathers and service providers highlighted three key aspects of their experience that must be addressed if future needs are to be better provided for. These are: social exclusion, trust and more flexible forms of service provision. The implications of these issues for future policy and programme development are discussed.

Title: Pregnancy and parenthood among young people in and leaving care: what are the influencing factors, and what makes a difference in providing support?
Author: Chase, Elaine et al
Reference: Journal of Adolescence, 29(3), June 2006, pp.437-451

This study explored factors contributing to early pregnancy and parenthood among young people in and leaving care the types of support available and the extent to which services are perceived as accessible. The study findings suggest that young people’s experiences prior to, and during care, influence their decisions in relation to pregnancy and impact on how they view services. The implications of these findings are discussed in the light of recent changes throughout England.


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