Policy Press

When children become parents

Welfare state responses to teenage pregnancy

Edited by Anne Daguerre and Corinne Nativel


Nov 1, 2006

Page count

264 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
When children become parents

Teenage parenthood is recognised as a significant disadvantage in western industrialised nations. It has been found to increase the likelihood of poverty and to reinforce inequalities. This book explores, for the first time, the links between welfare state provision and teenage reproductive behaviour across a range of countries with differing welfare regimes.

Drawing on both welfare state and feminist literature, as well as on new empirical evidence, the book compares public policy responses to teenage parenthood in each 'family' of welfare regime: Nordic, Liberal and Continental (Western European); analyses the different socio-political contexts in which teenage pregnancy is constructed as a social problem and identifies best practice in Europe and the USA.

Countries included in the study are the UK, USA, New Zealand, France, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Canadian province of Quebec and Russia. The contributors are all internationally recognised experts in the fields of welfare and/or gender studies.

"When children become parents" is important reading for a wide audience of students, policy makers, practitioners and academics in sociology, social policy, social geography, education, psychology, and youth and gender studies.

"The title of this book is deliberately provocative... This is an important book because it takes the very current issue of teenage motherhood and places it firmly in a political and global context. The detailed information in each chapter will be useful for anyone wishing to engage in the debate about this modern moral panic." British Journal of Social Work

"An extremely useful review of the literature on the various faces teenage pregnancy has in several nations and welfare regimes. This book is an enormous step forward that will set a trend for future research in teenage reproductive health issues." Gijs Beets, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, The Netherlands

Anne Daguerre is a Senior Research Fellow at Middlesex University and has written extensively on young people and family policy. Corinne Nativel is a Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow and has published extensively on welfare restructuring and comparative social policy.

Introduction: the construction of teenage pregnancy as a social problem ~ Anne Daguerre with Corinne Nativel; Young single mothers and 'welfare reform' in the US ~ Christine Carter McLaughlin and Kristin Luker; Teenage pregnancy in New Zealand: changing social policy paradigms ~ Georg Menz; Teenage pregnancy and parenthood in England ~ Anne Daguerre; Approaches to teenage motherhood in Québec, Canada ~ Johanne Charbonneau; Teenage pregnancy and reproductive politics in France ~ Corinne Nativel; Early motherhood in Italy: explaining the 'invisibility' of a social phenomenon ~ Elisabetta Pernigotti and Elisabetta Ruspini; Teenage reproductive behaviour in Denmark and Norway: lessons from the Nordic welfare state ~ Lisbeth B. Knudsen and Ann-Karin Valle; Meeting the challenge of new teenage reproductive behaviour in Russia ~ Elena Ivanova; Teenage pregnancy in Poland: between laissez-faire and religious backlash ~ Stéphane Portet; Conclusion: welfare states and the politics of teenage pregnancy: lessons from cross-national comparisons ~ Corinne Nativel with Anne Daguerre.