Teenage Parenthood: What’s the Problem?

edited by

Simon Duncan, Rosalind Edwards and Claire Alexander

“Teenage parenting may be more of an opportunity than a catastrophe.”

Policy makers and media claim that teenage parenthood ruins young people’s lives and those of their children, as well as threatening wider social and moral breakdown. Yet research increasingly shows that parenthood is not necessarily a disaster for young women and young men, and indeed can sometimes improve their lives. Why is that becoming a mother or father can make sense for and be valued by some young people? And why is that policy makers ignore the research evidence that teenage parenthood is not an inevitable catastrophe?

Teenage Parenting – What’s the Problem? presents recent quantitative and qualitative research on teenage motherhood and fatherhood, in an accessible manner. Contributors look at:

•           the relationship between age, pre-existing disadvantage and social outcomes for mothers and their children

•           the gulf between government policy assumptions and the understandings of teenage parents and their families

•           the variable ways in which young mothers’ and fathers’ ethnic identification articulates with gender, class and age

•           how young parents see themselves as ‘just another mum or dad’ when it comes to parenting, education and employment

•            commonalities in resilience and family support for teenage parents between and over generations,

•           links between experiences of parenting and self-identity, and how these can be affected by support from family and friends, and by formal service delivery.

These issues are placed in the context of a wide-ranging review of research evidence on teenage parenting, and a consideration of why government policy seems to ignore this evidence.

This book will appeal to academics, policymakers and professionals with an interest in new and challenging perspectives on policies around teenage parenthood and on young mothers and fathers’ experiences.


What’s the problem with teenage parents? Simon Duncan, Claire Alexander, Rosalind Edwards;

‘What’s important at the end of the day?’ Young mothers’ values and policy presumptions, Pam Alldred and Miriam David;

Challenging the irrational, amoral and anti-social construction of the ‘teenage mother,’ Jan Macvarish and Jenny Billings;

Just what difference does teenage motherhood make? Evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study, Denise Hawkes;

Pathways to adulthood, Eleanor Formby, Julia Hirst and Jenny Owen;

Great Expectations: teenage pregnancy and intergenerational transmission, Ann McNulty;

‘Just a mum or dad’: experiencing teenage parenting and work-life balances, Claire Alexander, Simon Duncan and Rosalind Edwards;

Young mothers from ‘minoritised’ backgrounds, Jenny Owen, Gina Higginbottom, Mavis Kirkham, Nigel Mathers and Peter Marsh;

Conclusion: Hazard warning, Rosalind Edwards, Simon Duncan and Claire Alexander;

paperback            ISBN             1872767087
ISBN-13             978-1-872767-08-6

also available on Kindle ISBN 978 1872767833

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