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Open Access 'Coming out' as pregnant or having a baby while attending school: Experiences and challenges of Scottish schoolgirl mothers/mothers-to-be

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Concerns exist about schoolgirls disengaging from education, becoming pregnant, dropping out of school and having lower-level or fewer qualifications. Few studies have considered the experiences and challenges that schoolgirls who become mothers face when continuing in education. This article discusses the experiences and challenges of Scottish schoolgirls who became mothers aged 18 or under. Exploring the world of schoolgirl mothers/mothers-to-be who continue in education is critical and gives a voice to those with marginalized identities. Data collection for this article was part of a wider mixed-methods, mixed-sources study conducted in 29 Scottish secondary schools or alternative provisions across 11 local authorities. The study draws on the accounts of 43 schoolgirl mothers/mothers-to-be through semi-structured individual or group interviews and questionnaires. Findings from the study show how the social organization of schooling and interacting policies and practices shape participants' experiences and challenges of continuing in education.

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Keywords: DISENGAGEMENT FROM EDUCATION; EARLY PARENTING; SCHOOL DISAFFECTION; SCHOOLGIRL MOTHERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-12-01

More about this publication?
  • The only journal of its kind, the International Journal on School Disaffection is an international, peer-reviewed journal that provides a forum for multi-disciplinary dialogue about influences and outcomes relating to school disengagement, low attainment, and early school leaving. The journal is open to a wide range of perspectives: sociological, historical, philosophical, psychological, criminological, and educational. Its priority is to support work that seeks to engage and re-engage children and young people and to develop critical and scholarly debate around school disaffection.
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