Teenage children of teenage mothers: Psychological, behavioural and health outcomes from an Australian prospective longitudinal study

University of Bristol, UK.
Social Science & Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.89). 05/2006; 62(10):2526-39. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.10.007
Source: PubMed


In many industrialised countries teenage pregnancy and teenage parenthood have in recent years been identified as social and public health problems that need to be tackled. A number of studies have looked at various outcomes for teenage mothers and their offspring, and many report a strong association with poverty for the mother both before and after having a child. Few studies, however, adequately control for socioeconomic circumstances when examining health and related outcomes. Most studies have focused on perinatal outcomes in the offspring with few looking at later health and development. In Australia, where the rate of teenage pregnancy is relatively high compared to other comparable countries, teenage pregnancy is a not prominent policy concern. As such, Australia offers the opportunity to study the outcomes of teenage parenthood in a country where there may be less stigma than in countries that portray teenage parenthood as a major health and/or social problem. This paper reports findings from the Mater-University Study of Pregnancy (MUSP) and its outcomes, a prospective study of women, and their offspring, who received antenatal care at a major public hospital (Mater Misericordiae Hospital) in South Brisbane, Australia, between 1981 and 1984. We have examined the associations of maternal age (< or =18 years (n=460) versus >18 years (n=4800)) at first antenatal visit with offspring psychological, behavioural and health characteristics when the offspring--the teenage children of teenage mothers--were aged 14 years. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the effect of maternal and family characteristics on associations between maternal age and childhood outcomes at age 14. Results show that the 14 year old offspring of mothers who were aged 18 years and younger compared to those who were offspring of older mothers were more likely to have disturbed psychological behaviour, poorer school performance, poorer reading ability, were more likely to have been in contact with the criminal justice system and were more likely to smoke regularly and to consume alcohol. However, maternal age was not associated with health outcomes in their offspring at age 14 years. Indicators of low socioeconomic position and maternal depression were also associated with poorer psychological, cognitive and behavioural outcomes among 14 year olds. In addition children from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds and whose mothers were depressed were more likely to have self-reported poor health, asthma, to have been admitted to hospital twice or more since birth and to be bed-wetters at age 14. The associations between maternal age and psychological distress, school performance, and smoking and alcohol use were all largely explained by socioeconomic factors, maternal depression, family structure and maternal smoking. These findings confirm that not all teenage mothers and their offspring have adverse outcomes, and that many if not the majority have good outcomes.

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    • "The young women's stories illustrated how they were often left picking up the pieces as they responded and adapted to changing and complicated circumstances growing up. These socio-economic characteristics and structures of poverty and disadvantage have been linked to early pregnancy and motherhood in other research studies, including lower maternal education and poverty (Meade et al., 2008), intergenerational teenage motherhood (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2009) and negative outcomes for children of teenage mothers (Shaw et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Pregnant and young mothers’ stories often go untold or are poorly represented within dominant health and social care discourses. Consequently, narratives of young mothers are largely absent from social and health care literature, especially in relation to how young women make sense, understand, and experience young motherhood. Drawing on 7 months of participant observation fieldwork at a community service, and 11 in-depth interviews, we discuss six metaphorical themes which capture the experiences of young mothers using a narrative approach. These include: Picking up the Pieces; Walking a Narrow and Familiar Path; Jumping over Puddles; Riding the Rapids to Motherhood; Living with Dirty Looks; and Asking for Directions. Contrary to the wider community’s deficit view and stereotypes of young mothers, what emerged from the narratives was quite a different story. Becoming a young mother meant taking a stand against stigma from the wider community; recognising motherhood as a significant and transformational turning point in their lives, one that opened doors to alternative storylines of hope, autonomy and agency, especially given a supportive context. These findings enhance our understandings by widening the lens to diverse realities that exist in young mothers’ lives and present a strong case for using a narrative approach to research and practice when working with young mothers.
    02/2015; 20(5). DOI:10.1177/1744987114565223
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    • "The finding about the mode of delivery is consistent with a previous study in which mode of delivery was found to cause no deleterious effects on child development [29]. On the contrary, Shaw et al reported that teen-age motherhood can be an important risk factor for poor childhood development [30]. Other authors however, opinned that maternal age alone is not a good index for predicting developmental outcomes in children [31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Periodic screening for developmental delays (DD) could avert the incidence of disability among children. However, such routine programme is yet to take off in rural welfare clinics in Ghana. Mothers of under-5 children who were attending rural child welfare clinic participated in this study. The socio-demographic data of the mothers and their children were recorded. The children were screened to assess their gross motor skills, fine motor skills, communication skills, and problem solving/cognition and social/personal interaction using Ages and Stages Questionnaire. Score below the threshold points on a developmental domain defines DD for a child. Data analysis involved percentages and frequency while Chi-square was performed to determine the associations between the selected socio-demographic risk factors and DD. Alpha value was set at p < 0.05. Three hundren and thirty (330) children were screened and majority 60(18%), were found within the age range 3 months 1 day to 5 months 0 day. 251(76%) had normal weight (2.5 kg-3.5) while 26(7.6%) were underweight (<2.5 kg). Generally, 147(44.6%) of the children had DD in the different domains of the questionnaires. 41(12.4%) had DD in social/personal interaction while 19(5.8%) were delayed in the communication domain. Birth weight and duration of gestation were significantly associated with communication domain while the level of education of the mothers and duration of gestation were significantly associated with gross motor domain. An appreciable proportion of the children were found to experience developmental delays and the most prevalent occurence was in personal/social interaction. Birth weight, gestational age and maternal educational level provide insight into a link with communication and gross motor skills.
    BMC Pediatrics 08/2013; 13(1):119. DOI:10.1186/1471-2431-13-119 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    • "Daughters of mothers who became pregnant during adolescence may consider this event to be less serious and risky compared to the general population and therefore they use less prevention [5]. In fact, some studies have shown that pregnancy was desired by the adolescent girl [39] and that pregnancy was not a negative experience for most of them [4,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pregnancy in adolescence tends to repeat over generations. This event has been little studied in middle and low-income societies undergoing a rapid epidemiological transition. To assess this association it is important to adjust for socioeconomic conditions at different points in lifetime. Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyze the independent effect of adolescent childbearing in a generation on its recurrence in the subsequent generation, after adjusting for socioeconomic status at different points in life. The study was conducted on a prospective cohort of singleton liveborn females from the city of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, evaluated in 1978/79, and their daughters assessed in 2002/04. A total of 1059 mother-daughter pairs were evaluated. The women who had their first childbirth before 20 years of age were considered to be adolescent mothers. The risk of childbearing in adolescence for the daughter was modeled as a function of the occurrence of teenage childbearing in her mother, after adjustment for socio-demographic variables in a Poisson regression model. The rate of childbearing during adolescence was 31.4% in 1978/79 and 17.1% in 2002/04. Among the daughters of the 1st generation adolescent mothers, this rate was 26.7%, as opposed to 12.7% among the daughters of non adolescent mothers. After adjustments the risk of adolescent childbearing for the 2nd generation was 35% higher for women whose mothers had been pregnant during adolescence -- RR = 1.35 (95%CI 1.04-1.74). Adolescent childbearing in the 1st generation was a predictor of adolescent childbearing in the 2nd, regardless of socioeconomic factors determined at different points in lifetime.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 07/2013; 13(1):149. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-13-149 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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