Adolescent Pregnancy in the Netherlands

  • C. Picavet
  • W. van Berlo
  • S. Tonnon


As it is in the Netherlands, teenage pregnancies are a public concern in most of the Western world. Adolescent mothers tend to be from disadvantaged backgrounds and raising children often interferes with their education and economic prospects. It is also related to depression, insecure attachment styles, external locus of control, and low self-efficacy. Furthermore, adolescent pregnancies are not without medical risk, for instance of early birth and perinatal mortality. Next to these negative consequences for teenage mothers, there may be a number of negative consequences for their children. There is evidence that these are likely to suffer numerous health and psychosocial disadvantages. In the Netherlands, birthrates among adolescents are available from 1950 onward. The highest birthrates were recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At that time, the birthrate among girls under 20 years old was 23 per 1,000. Most of these births occur among 18 and 19-year-olds. In 2007, this was reduced to less than a quarter of that number. This decrease has drawn the attention of researchers and policy makers around the world. The Netherlands are often seen as a forerunner among Western countries with regard to reproductive health. Particularly an open sexual climate, easy accessibility of contraceptives, comprehensive sexuality education, and a nonjudgmental attitude toward young people’s sexuality are believed to contribute to low rates of unintended pregnancies.


Abortion Adolescent parents Adolescent pregnancy Contraceptive methods First sexual intercourse Reproductive health services Teenage fathers The pill Sexuality education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers WPFUtrechtThe Netherlands

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