Young Parenthood and Cross-Generational Relationships: The Perspectives of Young Fathers
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The entry of young people into parenthood has long been regarded as an issue for UK social policy and professional practice. The UK has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe, concentrated in the most socially disadvantaged areas of the country (DCSF/DoH 2010). Most of these pregnancies are unplanned and about half end in abortion, although whether this should be a cause for concern is a contested issue (Duncan et al. 2010). Most existing research and policy tends to focus on young mothers; we currently know little about the practices, values or support needs of young fathers, or what barriers and enablers exist to improve their life chances (Alexander et al. 2010). Research that takes a dynamic approach, exploring the varied pathways through which young men enter and attempt to sustain parenthood, is especially sparse. A small-scale baseline study, conducted under the Timescapes programme, is addressing these gaps in knowledge, utilizing qualitative longitudinal (QL) methods of enquiry. We have been prospectively tracking a sample of young men to explore how their journeys through varied public landscapes (education, health, housing, employment and financial security) intersect with their interpersonal journeys — the changing landscapes of family life, partnering and parenting.
KeywordsFamily Life Young Mother Teenage Mother Young Parent Maternal Grandmother
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