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The Experiences of Mothers Aged Under 20: Analysis of Data From the Growing up in Scotland Study

The Experiences of Mothers Aged Under 20: Analysis of Data From the Growing up in Scotland Study

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ISBN: 9781784122676

Analysis of Growing Up in Scotland data on the circumstances of first-time mothers in Scotland who were aged under 20 at the time of the child’s birth. Data collected up to the child’s sixth birthday were used to compare these circumstances with those of mothers who were aged 20 to 24 and aged 25 or older at the time of their child’s birth.

Executive Summary

The report confirms the significant socio-economic disadvantage that young mothers face in terms of lower educational qualifications, lower employment levels and lower income, but also highlight others lesser known differences including unstable partner relationships, poorer health behaviours and health outcomes and lower levels of engagement with formal parenting support. Additional support to allow young parents – particularly those under 20 - the opportunity to continue their education or training is likely to help to reduce some of these inequalities. Widening the availability of and access to affordable childcare would, for example, support more opportunities for education, training, and employment.

Across many of the domains of health, parenting and social life considered here, the circumstances and behaviours of mothers aged 20-24, whilst often being relatively positive when compared with those aged under 20, are still more negative than for older mothers. As such, some consideration should also be given to enhancing the support offered to parents in this slightly older age group.