Quinlivan, J. (2008). Teenage parents. Community Paediatric Review, 16, 5-6.
Teenage pregnancy is considered to be one of the most important adolescent health problems in Western society. It is associated with a high economic cost involving both direct monetary expenditure for public assistance for welfare and child health care as well as negative societal outcomes in terms of child abuse, neglect and poverty (Quinlivan, 2004). Australia now has one of the highest adolescent fertility rates in the world. Teenage mothers may experience a number of adverse outcomes associated with teenage pregnancy including failure to complete schooling, inability to find a job, and increased risk of poor health (Quinlivan, 2004; Social Exclusion Unit, 1999). There is now considerable evidence that many teenagers idealise pregnancy and parenthood and regard it with high expectations. A significant proportion of adolescent pregnancies result as a consequence of positive, idealised attitudes to pregnancy, parenthood and personal change rather than by accident or negative attitudes to contraception (Condon et al., 2001).