This article in the Guardian today finally picks up on the research that suggests the disadvantage associated with young mothers tends to 'predate' the pregnancy, rather than being the result of it. It identifies the 'gulf' between policy assumptions and the experiences of teenage parents arguing that governments should focus on 'tackling the original disadvantage
often experienced by teenage parents, rather than on attacking their
decision to become parents'. It also acknowledges that for many young parents, having a child is a positive experience, and rarely the catastrophe that is portrayed by politicians.
This a great article but it's not 'new' research. I based my Masters dissertation on this in 2007. There have been a number of reports citing much of the above and more but for some reason it doesn't seem to change anything. The final paragraph of the article is a perfect example of this. Someone from the DCSF is quoted as saying teenage parents are still 'more likely to suffer health, emotional and economic problems'. More likely than who????? The whole point of the article was saying that it is misleading statements like this are causing the problem!