Previous studies have shown that strong relationships exist between deprived environments and teenage motherhood. However, such studies have predominantly identified deprivation using neighbourhood-wide measures of socio-economic status. Few studies of teenage parenthood have examined how individuals perceive their environment and the importance of this perception on reproductive behaviour and timing. Using data collected from a sample of women living the county of Gloucestershire, UK, this paper explores the predictive value of two methods of assessing the environment: (1) the structural component-deprivation at the neighbourhood level and (2) the individual's subjective experience of her pre-pregnancy environment, when examining how the wider environmental context can influence the decision of becoming a teenage mother. The results indicate that a woman's perception of her neighbourhood of residence at the time she conceived, her perceived environmental risk, may be a more discriminating predictor of teenage motherhood than deprivation measured by ward economic and deprivation indicators.
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