Contemporary young motherhood

Global perspectives of everyday experiences

Authored by: Barry Fearnley

The Routledge Handbook of Global Child Welfare

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138942752
eBook ISBN: 9781315672960
Adobe ISBN: 9781317374749


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The tendency to pathologize and problematize teenage mothers is well documented in the United Kingdom (Arai, 2009; Brown, Brady and Letherby, 2011; Duncan, Alexander & Edwards, 2010) and across the globe (Easterbrooks, Chaudhuni, Barlett and Copeman, 2011; Gyesaw and Ankomah, 2013; Holgate, Evans and Yuen, 2006; Watts, Liamputtong and McMichael., 2015). In France, teenage pregnancy is often portrayed as being deviant and immature behaviour on the part of young women (Nativel, 2006), whereas in Italy teenage pregnancy is seen as less of a problem, the focus being on the transition to adulthood. A sense of importance is placed on relationships, extended family connections and neighbourhood cohesion (Pernigotti and Ruspini, 2006). Norway and Demark have among the lowest teenage pregnancy rates, and this is attributed to the responsibility and expectations placed on young people in relation to their sexual activity (Knudsen and Valle, 2006). Young people are expected to behave like responsible adults and ‘use contraceptives and delay pregnancy until they are ready for parenthood that is when the conditions of educational attainment, economic independence and personal maturity are met’ (Knudsen and Valle, 2006, p. 161).

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