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Title: Investigation of the nature of formal and informal social support for young mothers in Salford, and its impact upon their experience of social exclusion
Author: Mcleod, Angela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 4215
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2011
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Teenage pregnancy has been identified as a socially excluding experience. UK policy initiatives have sought to reduce the prevalence of teenage pregnancy and also to provide social support to young mothers. The conceptual and political underpinnings of the UK approach have been critically examined in terms of how they aim to tackle social inclusion. The nature of both formal and informal social support for young mothers during and after pregnancy is a complex area for study. There is little available evidence on how support for teenage mothers can constitute social capital. The potential impact of this support on social exclusion is unknown.The aim of the study is to examine teenage mothers' experiences of social support and social capital. A qualitative approach was taken to data collection based around an established model of social support. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 10 employees from voluntary and statutory services with specialist young parenting provision. In-depth semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 18 young mothers during pregnancy, and from a new sample of 10 young mothers following the birth of their child. The study took place in a deprived inner city in the UK. Most support was provided from mothers own mothers but these relationships were often fragile, and networks tenuous. Wider support networks are missing within their social environment. Supportive relationships often became strained through over-dependence and relationships are sometimes detrimental to establishing social inclusion. Support that young mothers did receive was useful in helping them cope on a day to day level but did not constitute a form of social capital (e.g. bridging capital) that could provide opportunities for social inclusion. Policy initiatives focussed on increasing social inclusion through employment and moral integration may have contributed to the problematisation of young motherhood. Providers could do more to address the real problems of deprivation. A new policy direction in the UK could not only facilitate this change but also could go some way to promoting the currently under-valued role of young mothers in society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available