Mental health problems and social disadvantages as predictors of teenage parenthood: A register-based population study of Swedish boys and girls

Sara Kalucza


It has been argued that the relationship between mental health and teenage parenthood might be explained by the connection of social disadvantage and mental health. This paper embraces a life course approach and investigates the link between social and health disadvantages and teenage parenthood in Sweden, in attempt to disentangle experiences of early mental health problems from other social disadvantage factors. The research questions were explored through random intercept logistic models for panel data. The data for this study consists of all individuals born in Sweden between 1989 and 1994, drawn from Swedish population registers. The final models comprised 680,848 individuals who were followed throughout their teenage years. The results show that mental health problems in youth function as an independent predictor of teenage parenthood, even after adjusting for other social disadvantage factors. This observation applies for both boys and girls. Activities aimed at increasing the perceived life opportunities of youth and giving significance to life may be considered as means of preventing teenage parenthood through policy. This study suggests that such activities could be extended to include teenagers with mental health problems.


Adolescent parents; Family; Fertility; Longitudinal; Mental Health; Teenage Parenthood; Social Selection

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Copyright (c) 2018 Sara Kalucza

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