Teenage pregnancy and father involvement: the impact on social and environmental factors
Estlea, Danielle M. (2006) Teenage pregnancy and father involvement: the impact on social and environmental factors. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.
Teenage pregnancy is a contemporary issue within Human Geography that is highly publicised in the media. However, research and information about the role of the father within teenage pregnancy is limited and inconsistent. Teenage pregnancy holds geographical importance regarding the context of changing populations as birth rates are very manipulative over a society's demography. This can be seen in how a population is structured, the needs of a local labour force, and the supply and demand for purpose built accommodation, just to name a few. The aim of this study was to investigate whether father involvement is influential over social and environmental factors within teenage pregnancy, and this was done by using 17 controlled variables derived from the Millennium Cohort Study First Survey 2001-2003. This variable-controlled study targeted older mothers as well as the subject teenage mothers to emphasise any significant differences between the two age groups. This aimed to confirm whether or not the results were specifically a teenage-related consequence to test the hypothesis that father involvement is an influential factor within the experience of teenage pregnancy. The categorisation of father involvement was defined using 13 variables tallied up to show how many were present in each of the 18496 cases, and then categorised as 'father involvement' and 'no father involvement' on a scale basis of these variables present. The analysis assessed influence of father involvement using cross tabulations, expected values and chi square analysis. Findings showed that the majority of teenage mothers (76.5%) within the study experienced no father involvement in comparison to older mothers, whereby the majority (53.2%) did experience father involvement with their child. However, the presence of father involvement overall was influential towards all social and environmental factors within pregnancy, except for the receiving of benefits. Nonetheless, there was no distinct difference within the variables that showed that the results were teenage specific, suggesting that such influences are not age related. From this, interpretations were made that additional aspects other than father involvement were influential towards these social and environmental factors of teenage pregnancy. Suggestions of incentives offered by the government to stay in education for longer and the priorities of low cost housing made for young mothers could be gestured as such additions. The results and interpretations of this study have contributed to the lack of knowledge available about the role of the father within teenage pregnancy. However, due to the nature of its findings, it can be suggested that teenage mothers are more independent from the father of the child, but more dependant on the services, policies, and benefits offered by local authorities and the government
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