A new report from GUS explores the characteristics, circumstances and experiences of first-time mothers in Scotland aged under 20 years at the time of their child’s birth.  The report provides a current picture of the circumstances of young mothers and also explores how the circumstances and characteristics of mothers change as their child grows older.

The findings make clear that from the very earliest stages of pregnancy and throughout the first six years of their child’s life, mothers aged under 20 are considerably more likely than older mothers to experience significant disadvantage in relation to health, income, employment and other areas of their lives and that this persistent and multiple disadvantage has an adverse impact their children’s outcomes. Other analysis from GUS suggest that it is not the age of the mother that drives child outcomes but the fact that younger mothers have a more challenging starting point that makes it more difficult for them to achieve the security and stability that they and their children need.

The research also shows that young mothers have specific needs in terms of the support they require and how it should be delivered.  With the right support in place, opportunities and outcomes for younger mothers and their children could be greatly improved.

Full report: The experiences of mothers aged under 20: analysis from the Growing Up in Scotland study

Scottish Government Press Release: Young mothers focus of new research


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