Perceived environmental risk as a predictor of teenage motherhood in a British population

Health Place. 2011 Jan;17(1):122-31. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.09.006. Epub 2010 Sep 18.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude
  • Case-Control Studies
  • England / epidemiology
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Perception
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / statistics & numerical data
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires