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Adolescents from different socioeconomic backgrounds had different attitudes about teen pregnancy

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QUESTION: What are the attitudes of adolescent women about sex, contraception, and adolescent pregnancy?




Bristol, UK.


34 young women (16–22 y) were recruited from young mothers' groups, general practices, young people's sexual health clinics, and by snowball sampling; 16 were young mothers or were pregnant and most (n=24) lived in socioeconomically “disadvantaged” circumstances.


Data were collected through indepth interviews and participant observation of 4 different young mothers' groups. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Descriptive accounts and accompanying field notes were organised around major themes within the context of young women's sexual and emotional relationships and social circumstances.

Main findings

Attitudes towards adolescent pregnancy. Young women from disadvantaged backgrounds thought the ideal age for starting a family was 17–25 years. Women from advantaged backgrounds wanted to wait until their late 20s or early 30s, emphasising career, university, money, and personal development; these …

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  • Source of funding: South West Research and Development Directorate.

  • For correspondence: Dr D Jewell, Division of Primary Health Care, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR, UK. Fax +44 (0)117 928 7340.