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Mental health problems and social disadvantages as predictors of teenage parenthood: a register-based population study of Swedish boys and girls
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2696-9517
2018 (English)In: Longitudinal and life course studies, ISSN 1124-9064, E-ISSN 1757-9597, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 212-225Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been argued that the relationship between mental health and teenage parenthood might be explained by the connection of social disadvantage and mental health. This paper embraces a life course approach and investigates the link between social and health disadvantages and teenage parenthood in Sweden, in attempt to disentangle experiences of early mental health problems from other social disadvantage factors. The research questions were explored through random intercept logistic models for panel data. The data for this study consists of all individuals born in Sweden between 1989 and 1994, drawn from Swedish population registers. The final models comprised 680,848 individuals who were followed throughout their teenage years. The results show that mental health problems in youth function as an independent predictor of teenage parenthood, even after adjusting for other social disadvantage factors. This observation applies for both boys and girls. Activities aimed at increasing the perceived life opportunities of youth and giving significance to life may be considered as means of preventing teenage parenthood through policy. This study suggests that such activities could be extended to include teenagers with mental health problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 9, no 2, p. 212-225
Keywords [en]
adolescent parents, family, fertility, longitudinal, mental health, teenage parenthood, social selection
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-142108DOI: 10.14301/llcs.v9i2.444ISI: 000438900500005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85046132425OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-142108DiVA, id: diva2:1159255
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form

Available from: 2017-11-22 Created: 2017-11-22 Last updated: 2018-08-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Who becomes a teenage parent?: life course perspectives on selection into teenage motherhood and fatherhood trajectories in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who becomes a teenage parent?: life course perspectives on selection into teenage motherhood and fatherhood trajectories in Sweden
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background. The aim of the research described in thesis is to study processes of selection leading to teenage parenthood in contemporary Sweden. I ask how factors related to socio-economic position, mental health issues in youth, and family formation behaviour of previous generations directs young individuals into teenage parent trajectories. Having children as a teenager is often seen as a burden and a failure, and framed as a public health concern. This is true, even as mounting evidence points to the fact that the connections between teenage parenthood and future adverse outcomes are muddled by selection effects. This research makes a contribution to the body of knowledge by looking at how several factors influence selection processes, namely socio-economic background factors, mental health issues in adolescence and family formation patterns of the teenage parent’s own parents. Both teenage mothers and teenage fathers are considered from a life course perspective. The theoretical framework also draws on the literature relating to opportunity costs and competing alternatives.

Method. Two longitudinal data sources are utilized: register population data accessed through the Umeå SIMSAM lab and the Northern Swedish Cohort survey. In order to answer questions about both selection leading into events and trajectories, random intercept models for longitudinal data as well as sequence analysis are applied.

Results. The results show that, apart from confirming the continued importance of socio-economic factors selecting young men and women to become teenage parents and embark on teenage parenthood trajectories, mental health issues in youth are also important. Through this route, both teenage girls and boys enter into teenage parenthood in a way that does not happen with on-time parenthood. Furthermore, the results show that selection not only affects the chances of becoming a teenage parent, but also which type of teenage parent trajectory the individual follows. Moreover, the results reveal that these trajectories, and not only the event of becoming a teenage parent, are repeated over generations. The results illustrate that teenage parents are a heterogeneous group with diverse backgrounds and selection processes, and hence policy measures aimed at teenage parents should not try to offer blanket solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. p. 48
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 79
Keywords
teenage parenthood, life course, longitudinal, mental health, family, selection effects
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-142111 (URN)978-91-7601-799-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-15, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-24 Created: 2017-11-22 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Kalucza, Sara

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