Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 10
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Ayton, Jennifer and Hansen, Emily 2016. Complex young lives: a collective qualitative case study analysis of young fatherhood and breastfeeding. International Breastfeeding Journal, Vol. 11, Issue. 1,

    Hayter, Mark Jones, Catriona Owen, Jenny and Harrison, Christina 2016. A qualitative evaluation of home-based contraceptive and sexual health care for teenage mothers. Primary Health Care Research & Development, Vol. 17, Issue. 03, p. 287.

    Jozkowski, Kristen N. and Crawford, Brandon L. 2016. The Status of Reproductive and Sexual Health in Southern USA: Policy Recommendations for Improving Health Outcomes. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Vol. 13, Issue. 3, p. 252.

    Lau Clayton, Carmen 2016. The Lives of Young Fathers: A Review of Selected Evidence. Social Policy and Society, Vol. 15, Issue. 01, p. 129.

    Anwar, E. and Stanistreet, D. 2015. 'It has not ruined my life; it has made my life better': a qualitative investigation of the experiences and future aspirations of young mothers from the North West of England. Journal of Public Health, Vol. 37, Issue. 2, p. 269.

    Hall, Greg Hadson, Daniel Boddy, Jennifer and Chenoweth, Lesley 2014. Talking With Teen Parents, Hearing Young Families: (In)forming Welfare Reform Through Local Relations. Child & Youth Services, Vol. 35, Issue. 3, p. 255.

    Bruno, Tara L. Butters, Jennifer E. Erickson, Patricia G. and Wekerle, Christine 2012. Missed Conceptions: A Gendered Extension of Early Conception Among Street Youth. Deviant Behavior, Vol. 33, Issue. 7, p. 550.

    Moloney, Molly Hunt, Geoffrey P. Joe-Laidler, Karen and MacKenzie, Kathleen 2011. Young mother (in the) hood: gang girls' negotiation of new identities. Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 14, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Ponsford, Ruth 2011. Consumption, resilience and respectability amongst young mothers in Bristol. Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 14, Issue. 5, p. 541.

    Gudmundsdottir, Helga Rut and Gudmundsdottir, Dora Gudrun 2010. Parent–infant music courses in Iceland: perceived benefits and mental well-being of mothers. Music Education Research, Vol. 12, Issue. 3, p. 299.


What a Difference a Decade Makes: Rethinking Teenage Pregnancy as a Problem

  • Lisa Arai (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 April 2009

The Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (TPS) has been implemented in England since 1999 and has two aims: to halve under 18s conceptions; and to reduce the risk of social exclusion among young mothers. The TPS portrays young motherhood as problematic, the cause of poor outcomes. Yet, the problematisation of teenage fertility has been contested, especially by qualitative researchers who have demonstrated that early motherhood can be experienced positively. This research is discussed here, as are findings from a small-scale study in three English locations, where teenage mothers reported good experiences of parenthood. The discrepancy between these accounts of motherhood and policy is considered.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Carabine (2007), ‘New Labour's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy’, Cultural Studies, 21, 6, 952–73.

P. Choi , C. Henshaw , S. Baker and J. Tree (2005), ‘Supermum, superwife, supereverything: performing femininity in the transition to motherhood’, Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 23, 2, 167–80.

D. Clemmens (2003), ‘Adolescent motherhood: a metasynthesis of qualitative studies’, The American Journal of Maternal and Child Nursing, 28, 2, 93–9.

A. Cunnington (2001), ‘What's so bad about teenage pregnancy?’, Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 27, 1, 3641.

A de Jonge . (2001), ‘Support for teenage mothers: a qualitative study into the views of women about the support they received as teenage mothers’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 36, 1, 4957.

S. Duncan (2007), ‘What's the problem with teenage parents? And what's the problem with policy’, Critical Social Policy, 27, 307–34.

A. T. Geronimus (1997), ‘Teenage childbearing and personal responsibility: an alternative view’, Political Science Quarterly, 112, 3. Accessed online at: (checked 22/04/08).

S. Hilgartner and C. L. Bosk (1988), ‘The rise and fall of social problems: a public arenas model’, American Journal of Sociology, 94, 1, 5378.

D. Jewell , J. Tacchi and J. Donovan (2000), ‘Teenage pregnancy: whose problem is it?’, Family Practice, 17, 6, 522–8.

J. Kidger (2004), ‘Including young mothers: limitations to New Labour's strategy for supporting teenage parents’, Critical Social Policy, 24, 3, 291311.

J. Kidger (2005), ‘Stories of redemption? Teenage mothers as the new sex educators’, Sexualities, 8, 4, 481–96.

K. E. Kiernan (1997), ‘Becoming a young parent: a longitudinal study of associated factors’, British Journal of Sociology, 48, 3, 406–28.

M. Kirkman , L. Harrison , L. Hillier and P. Pyett (2001), ‘I know I'm doing a good job’: canonical and autobiographical narratives of teenage mothers', Culture, Health and Sexuality, 3, 3, 279–94.

D. A. Lawlor and M. Shaw (2002), ‘Too much too young? Teenage pregnancy is not a public health problem’, International Journal of Epidemiology, 31, 3, 552–3.

A. Murcott (1980), ‘The social construction of teenage pregnancy: a problem in the ideologies of childhood and reproduction’, Sociology of Health and Illness, 2, 1, 123.

S. Singh and J. E. Darroch (2000), ‘Adolescent pregnancy and childbearing: levels and trends in developed countries’, Family Planning Perspectives, 32, 1, 1423.

L. SmithBattle (2003), ‘Displacing the rule book in caring for teen mothers’, Public Health Nursing, 20, 5, 369376.

L. SmithBattle (2000), ‘Developing a caregiving tradition in opposition to one's past: lessons from a longitudinal study of teenage mothers’, Public Health Nursing, 17, 2, 8593.

A. Weyman (2003), ‘Promoting sexual health to young people: preventing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections’, The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, 123, 67.

E. Whitehead (2001), ‘Teenage pregnancy: on the road to social death’, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 38, 437–46.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *