Some aspects of adolescent motherhood in Nunavut

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Bexte, Melissa Dianne
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Psychology
Since the rise of the teenage pregnancy epidemic in the United States, many policy makers and researchers throughout the industrialized world have continued to express concern about risks associated with adolescent motherhood. Here, I present a brief history of the teenage pregnancy epidemic, using the United States as an illustrative example. Then I investigate two aspects of adolescent motherhood in women from Arviat, Nunavut. Arviat differs from the United States in that it offers greater financial and relational support for adolescent mothers. I use a Bayesian statistical framework to examine the effect of adolescent motherhood on welfare use and on measures of self-reported health at midlife. I find no predictive effect of adolescent motherhood on either outcome. Instead, data presented here suggest that a context where more financial and relational support are available to support mothers, adolescent mothers seem to do as well as those who postpone their first births.
adolescent motherhood , weathering hypothesis , Nunavut , Inuit women , Teenage mothers--Cross-cultural studies , Teenage mothers--Nunavut--Arviat--Economic conditions , Teenage mothers--Nunavut--Arviat--Social conditions , Teenage mothers--Social networks--Nunavut--Arviat , Teenage pregnancy--Social aspects , Teenage pregnancy--Cross-cultural studies , Inuit women--Nunavut--Arviat , Social networks , Health , Well-being , Intergenerational relations , Poverty--Health aspects , Low-income mothers--Cross-cultural studies , Dissertations, Academic