Predictors and outcomes of early motherhood in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health

Lee, Christina E. and Gramotnev, Helen (2006) Predictors and outcomes of early motherhood in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 11 1: 29-47. doi:10.1080/13548500500238143


Author Lee, Christina E.
Gramotnev, Helen
Title Predictors and outcomes of early motherhood in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health
Journal name Psychology, Health and Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1354-8506
1465-3966
Publication date 2006-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13548500500238143
Volume 11
Issue 1
Start page 29
End page 47
Total pages 19
Editor L. Sherr
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
380107 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
730201 Women's health
Abstract Early motherhood is identified as a social problem, and having children at an early age is assumed to lead to psychological distress, welfare dependence and socioeconomic disadvantage. Analysis of responses from 9,689 young participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health was used to examine predictors and outcomes of early motherhood in Australia. Survey 1 (1996, aged 18 - 23) and Survey 2 (2000, aged 22 - 27), were used to categorize women as Childless, Existing Mothers (before Survey 1) and New Mothers (became mothers before Survey 2). Multivariate logistic regressions provided comparisons on sociodemographics, gynaecological variables, psychological wellbeing and health behaviours. Survey 1 data show that Existing Mothers experience socioeconomic disadvantages and unhealthy lifestyles. However, those who will go on to become mothers earlier than their peers already experience similar disadvantages. Further, the Survey 2 data show that, when these pre-existing disadvantages are controlled for, the additional deficits experienced by early mothers are relatively minor. Social disadvantage predisposes women to become mothers early, and to adopt unhealthy behaviours. However, young Australian women cope well with the challenges of early motherhood. In the longer term, unhealthy lifestyles and low education may lead to ill health and disadvantage, but early motherhood is not the initiator of this trajectory.
Keyword Women
motherhood
sociodemigraphic factors
longitudinal studies
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 19:57:19 EST