Teenage Pregnancy and Motherhood: The Contribution of Support

Lisa Bunting, Colette McAuley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper aims to provide a critical analysis of the role of support in teenage motherhood. Family, partner and peer support are considered and literature emanating from both the USA and UK is reviewed. In summary the research literature indicates that family support is particularly important to teenage mothers and has been found to have a positive influence on parenting behaviours and practices. However, the mother–daughter relationship is not always a straightforward one and conflict between the two can diminish some of the positive impact. The research on partner support highlights how support from fathers and/or other male partners has been linked with improved financial and psychological outcomes for teenage mothers as well as having a positive influence on parenting behaviours. There is also evidence to suggest that support from partners may become increasingly important to teenage mothers over time and can be a valuable source of socializing participation and positive feedback. While the research available on peer support is much more limited it suggests that the emotional support of peers is perceived as being important by teenage mothers. Current research findings suggest that families, partners and peers tend to provide different, but complementary, forms of support for teenage mothers which, on the whole, appear to contribute to more positive outcomes for this group.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)207-215
    Number of pages8
    JournalChild and Family Social Work
    Volume 9
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2004


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