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Sociodemographic background, lifestyle and psychosocial conditions of swedish teenage mothers and their perception of health and social support during pregnancy and childbirth
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7804-6426
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 36, no 4, 415-423 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: Among Swedish pregnant teenage girls it is unusual to continuepregnancy and to choose to have a baby. Swedish teenage motherscan therefore be expected to differ from adult mothers, at agroup level. The aim of this study was to describe and compareteenage mothers who were giving birth in hospital with adultmothers as to sociodemographic background, perception of healthand social support. Methods: A descriptive comparative studywas conducted over one year, in a county in south-western Sweden,which comprised a group of all teenage mothers aged 15—19,who gave birth at hospital (study group n=97) and the same numberof adult mothers aged 25—29, matched for parity and birthof a baby closest to the index mother (reference group). Bothgroups answered a questionnaire regarding sociodemographic variables,lifestyle, health, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and support.Information on the mothers' pregnancy and delivery was obtainedfrom their maternal health and delivery charts. Results: Teenagemothers had more often been exposed to a difficult family situation,had more often experienced school failure than adult mothers,and showed health-risk behavior. Teenage mothers perceived lesssupport, had lower self-esteem, and more depressive symptomsthan adult mothers. Conclusions: Teenage mothers differed fromadult mothers regarding family situation and health behavioras well as perception of support, self-esteem, and depressivesymptoms, which may negatively influence their ability to copewith parenthood. Efforts should be made early in pregnancy tomeet both health and support needs of teenage mothers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2008. Vol. 36, no 4, 415-423 p.
Keyword [en]
Depressive symptoms, health-risk behaviours, physical/psychological violence, self-esteem, social support, teenage pregnancy
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2527DOI: 10.1177/1403494807085315ISI: 000257536300011PubMedID: 18539696Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-44849120144OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-2527DiVA: diva2:134035
Available from: 2009-01-16 Created: 2009-01-16 Last updated: 2013-10-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Teenage childbearing in Sweden: support from social network and midwife
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teenage childbearing in Sweden: support from social network and midwife
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of Swedish- speaking pregnant and parenting teenage girls’ situation and experiences of becoming mothers in the Swedish context as well as midwives’ reflections on their experiences of caring for teenage girls during pregnancy and childbirth.

Specific aims were to describe Swedish teenage girls’ perspectives, experiences and thoughts about becoming and being a teenage mother (I); to describe Swedish midwives’ reflections on their experiences of caring for teenage girls during pregnancy and childbirth (II); to describe and compare a group of Swedish-speaking teenage mothers, aged 15-19, with adult mothers, aged 25-29, all of whom gave birth in hospital, in terms of sociodemographic background, perception of health during pregnancy, and social support (III); to describe and compare the perception of received social support, self-esteem and different background factors among teenage mothers, aged15-19, with and without depressive symptoms (IV).

Methods The studies were conducted in a county in south western Sweden during 2003 and 2004. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used: individual semi-structured interviews with 20 teenage mothers (I); three focus group discussions (FGDs) with 24 midwives; and a questionnaire developed specifically for this study given to 97 teenage mothers and 97 adult mothers 1-3 days postpartum (III, IV). Content and hermeneutical text analyses were applied to qualitative data (I, II), and descriptive statistics were used to analyse quantitative data (II, IV).

Results from studies showed that there were two main reasons for Swedish-speaking teenagers to become mothers (I, II, III). It was seen as a way out of a difficult psychosocial situation, or it was seen as something natural because of a family pattern of early motherhood (I, II). Teenage mothers had more often had an early experience of parental separation, had experienced physical and/or psychological violence, were more often inclined to engage in risky behaviours, and smoked more often during pregnancy. In addition they perceived less support from their social network, had lower self-esteem, and had more depressive symptoms than adult mothers (III). Teenage mothers with depressive symptoms had lower self-esteem, perceived less support from family and friends, had more often been exposed to violence, and were more often smokers than teenage mothers without depressive symptoms (IV). Support from the midwives was generally well perceived by teenage mothers, but support from the midwife attending delivery was less well perceived in teenage mothers with depressive symptoms (IV). Reflections by the midwives about their experience of caring for teenage mothers revealed a true presence in the encounters with teenage mothers (II).

Conclusions Our findings provide midwives and other health care providers with a picture of the experience of teenage motherhood, which highlights the importance of antenatal assessment of each teenage mother’s strengths, weaknesses, hopes, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, health risk behaviours, social support networks, and satisfaction with social support prior to care planning. The midwife needs to lend a listening ear to the teenage mother, giving her time, showing that she is taking her seriously and trying to understand her complex situation. Teenage mothers need acceptance and clear communication.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karolinska Institutet, 2007. 53 p.
Keyword
Teenage pregnancy, Health risk behaviours, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, social support, physical/psychocological violence, midwifery care, sweden
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2175 (URN)978-91-7357-289-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
(English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-06-12 Created: 2008-06-12 Last updated: 2013-10-21

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