Teenage pregnancy – a social problem or public health issue?

Rajeeb Sah, Ritu Mahendru

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Teenage pregnancy is a global problem occurring in low-, middle- and high-income countries. Also known as adolescent pregnancy, teenage pregnancy is defined as a public health as well as social problem. Teenage pregnancy is not a new phenomenon and historically early marriage and having babies at younger age are considered as a social norm in several cultures. Evidence suggests that the UK teenage pregnancy rates are the highest in Western Europe and second only to the US in the developed world. As such, in this chapter, social, cultural, environmental and health dimensions of teenage pregnancy are covered bearing in mind that teenage pregnancy is not concentrated in one section of a society. The chapter demonstrates different dimensions of an individual life affected by her/his social settings and environment at micro and macro levels can have negative effects on teenagers’ sexual health outcomes. Causes and consequences of teenage pregnancy are discussed as well as lack of institutional support to those who are most marginalised and are at the receiving end of multiple axes of power and social exclusion. The chapter argues that in the absence of confronting socially disadvantaged positions of young women and men, leads to intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Social Problems in the UK
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Overview
EditorsSelwyn Stanley
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781003166887
ISBN (Print)9780367764227, 9780367764203
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2022


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