Teenage parenthood among child welfare clients: a Swedish national cohort study of prevalence and odds

J Adolesc. 2007 Feb;30(1):97-116. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.12.002. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


To assess prevalence and odds for teenage parenthood among former child welfare clients, we used national register data for all children born in Sweden 1972-1983 (n=1,178,207), including 49,582 former child welfare clients with varying intervention experiences. Logistic regression models, adjusted for demographic, socio-economic and familial background factors, were used to estimate odds ratios. Among youth who received interventions in adolescence, 16-19% of the girls and 5-6% of the boys became teenage parents, compared to 3% for girls and 0.7% for boys without child welfare experiences. Youths who entered child welfare services in their teens had four- to fivefold adjusted odds for becoming a teenage parent. For other child welfare clients, adjusted odds were mostly twofold. Youth of both sexes who receive child welfare services in adolescence are a high-risk group for teenage parenthood. Child welfare agencies should, as a minimum, provide each individual client youth with access to birth control counselling and contraceptives.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Welfare* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Public Assistance* / statistics & numerical data
  • Registries
  • Sweden