Transitioning motherhood: entering adulthood with a baby

Ann Evans, Australian National University

Our current understanding of teenage motherhood paints a very grim picture of the lives of teenage mothers and their babies. An over-reliance on the welfare system and social isolation lead to inadequate opportunities for education, employment and productive relationships and are responsible for enhancing social exclusion and weakening a society’s social and economic fabric. This paper draws on data from longitudinal case studies women whose first birth occurred as a teenager. The paper explores the extent to which motherhood provides a distinctive role within families and communities for young women who are struggling for identity in the transition to adulthood.

Presented in Poster Session 1