Antecedents of teenage pregnancy: Using an evolutionary perspective in the search for mechanisms
Cambridge University Press
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Medical Sciences / Systems and Intervention Research Centre for Health
Teenage pregnancy is associated with poor maternal and child health outcomes that can resonate throughout individuals' lives and into future generations. Across many industrialised nations, teenage pregnancy rates remain high despite extensive efforts to introduce government policy and public health interventions aimed at reducing rates of young motherhood. Indeed, more than 1.25 million teenagers become pregnant in OECD nations each year (UNICEF, 2001). In this chapter, we use a branch of evolutionary theory (life-history theory) that studies life cycles within an environmental context to better understand what are likely to be the persistent underlying antecedents of teenage pregnancy.