Educational aspirations and views about pregnancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Townsville, Australia

Larkins, Sarah, Page, Priscilla, Panaretto, Kathryn S., Scott, Robert, Mitchell, Melvina, Alberts, Valerie, Veitch, Craig, and McGinty, Sue (2009) Educational aspirations and views about pregnancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in Townsville, Australia. Redress, 18 (3). pp. 11-18.

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Abstract

In this article the authors discuss attitudes to schooling, aspirations and views about teenage pregnancy in a group of Indigenous young people in Townsville, Australia, using novel mixed-methods to investigate complex social attitudes and behaviours. A Young Mums' Group operating on participatory action principles designed the instruments, including a computer-assisted survey with peer interviewers, focus group discussions and individual interviews with school students, homeless youth shelter residents and young mothers. The authors found that many young people, especially young women, had high educational aspirations, as did their parents. However. they were lacking in role models and clear pathways to help them achieve these aims, making them seem unattainable. The majority wanted to avoid pregnancy as a teenager, recognising difficulties inherent in this path, but if they became pregnant, most would receive family support, and would not consider options other than having the child. Parenthood as a teenager had fewer costs in terms of negative judgement or limitations on educational achievement than it had for more advantaged young people. The authors conclude that improving educational pathways and transitions may increase intra-community role models and mentors. broadening options, and empowering young women to take the steps required to defer motherhood.

Item ID: 18240
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1039-382X
Funders: NH&MRC Public Health Postgraduate scholarship (No. 233516), General Practice Education and Training Registrar Scholarship and Research Fund, Primary Health Care Research, Education and Development Program Queensland
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2011 04:03
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 70%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 20%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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