pathways to wellbeing among teenage mothers in great britain

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Pathways to Wellbeing among Teenage Mothers in Great Britain. Elzbieta Polek & Ingrid Schoon Institute of Education London. Gender Equality Symposium Cambridge, March 2009. Teenage Motherhood. The UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe; - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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    Pathways to Wellbeing among Teenage Mothers in Great Britain

    Gender Equality Symposium Cambridge, March 2009Elzbieta Polek & Ingrid SchoonInstitute of EducationLondon

  • *Teenage MotherhoodThe UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe; In 2003 almost 60,000 babies were born to teenage girls in England and Wales;This represents roughly 10% of all the babies born that year;The proportion of women becoming teenage mothers has not changed much among cohorts born since the 1960s.

    (Kirnan, 1997; www.action.org.uk)

  • Teenage Motherhood in Europe*Source: UNICEF: Innocenti Report Card, Issue No. 3, 2001

    Chart1

    30.8

    26.5

    21.2

    18.7

    18.7

    16.4

    13.1

    12.4

    11.8

    9.9

    9.3

    9.2

    8.1

    7.9

    6.6

    6.5

    6.2

    East

    Births to women aged below 20 per 1,000

    Sheet1

    UKHungaryPortugalPolandIrelandCzech RepublicGermanyNorwayGreeceBelgiumFranceFinlandDenmarkSpainItalySwedenNetherlands

    East30.826.521.218.718.716.413.112.411.89.99.39.28.17.96.66.56.2

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    Antecedents of Teenage Motherhood

    Teenage motherhood is associated with problematic childhood and is often a repetition of intergenerational scenario:daughters of teenaged mothers become teenage mothers themselves;social disadvantage;low education;family disruption;low parenting skills, low psychological health of mothers and children.

  • *Teenage Motherhood as a Social ProblemTeenage motherhood is associated with adjustment problems later in life:psychological distress of mothers and children;socio-economic disadvantage; exclusion from paid labour;welfare dependence.

  • *Wellbeing of Teenage MothersFactors promoting well-being among teenage mothers:Return to education;Attachment to the labour market;Stable relationship;Yet, there is little understanding of the pathways leading to successful transition experiences.

  • *Aims of the studyFirst, we want to examine the antecedents and pathways to wellbeing among teenage mothers, in order to answer the question: what helps them to avoid repetition of the intergenerational scenario of destitution?

    Second, we want to examine a link between economic independence and psychological wellbeing of teenage mothers.

  • MethodAnalysis of the longitudinal data from 2 generations of women: the sample of 738 teenage mothers and their mothers;Using Mplus 5 we performed pathway analysis with probit regressions based on robust weighted least squares estimation;Next, we carried out ANOVA comparing the psychological wellbeing of welfare-dependent teenage mothers and those independent from social welfare.*

  • *Data Source and SampleBritish Cohort Study (BCS1970)Continuing longitudinal study of all children born in one week in April 1970;Followed from birth to age 34;At age 30 - 5738 female respondents;Sample used in the present study: 738 teenage mothers (13% of all female respondents in BCS1970).

  • *Variables Included in the Model(Predictors)Family background:Teenage motherhood (generation 1);Mothers education (generation 1);Relationship status (generation 1);Family cohesion (family of origin);Individual characteristics:General cognitive abilities (generation 2, age 10);School motivation (generation 2, age 16)

  • *Variables Included in the Model(Outcomes)Transition experiences between age 16 and 29:Highest qualifications obtained (generation 2);Time spend in employment (generation 2);Stable relationship (generation 2);Wellbeing in adulthood, age 30:Independence from welfare (generation 2);Satisfaction with life (generation 2);Psychological wellbeing (the Malaise Inventory, generation 2).

  • *Pathway Model Linking Social Background to Transition Experiences

  • Estimated Pathways Linking Social Background to Transition Experiences*2 = 26.04, df = 15, p = 0.04CFI = 0.968RMSA = 0.032 Standardized coefficients: **p < .001, *p < .05

  • *Life Satisfaction among Teenage Mothers (generation 2)ANOVA: F (1,722) = 30.49, p
  • *Malaise among Teenage Mothers (generation 2)ANOVA: F (1,723) = 22.08, p
  • *Main FindingsEconomic wellbeing among teenage mothers is influenced mainly by:Attachment to the labour market;Stable relationship.Independence from social welfare is a proxy for life satisfaction and psychological wellbeing among teenage mothers;Some unfavourable characteristics of the family of origin (teenage motherhood or parental divorce) do not have to be detrimental for child development, if parents give attention to a child and engage in joint parent-child activities.

  • *Policy Implications (1)Importance of parent-child interactions for school motivation and stable relationship in adulthood

    Need to create opportunities for family activities; Too little attention to emotional needs of young families in current polices.

  • *Policy Implications (2)Importance of school motivation:Motivated teenagers :More likely to continue with education;More attached to the labour market;Yet, bright young women disengaged from school Need to raise interest and engagement in school.

  • Thank you for your attention! e.polek@ioe.ac.uki.schoon@ioe.ac.uk

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