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Teenage Mothers and Social Isolation: The Role of Friendship as Protection against Relational Exclusion

  • Kyla Ellis-Sloan (a1) and Amy Tamplin (a2)

Abstract

This article explores links made between teenage mothers and isolation: in particular, the notion of ‘relational exclusion’ (Kidger, 2004). Political conceptualisations of social exclusion often ignore this aspect and instead focus on the economic dynamics of exclusion. As a consequence, policies aimed at addressing the exclusion of teenage parents often focus on education and employment as solutions. This article argues that friendships are overlooked as a source of potential support. It therefore builds on work that has observed teenage mothers’ isolation and loneliness to examine how a teenage pregnancy affects a young woman's friendship networks. It then goes on to expand understanding of how new friendships are formed and the types of support they provide. The article concludes by proposing that social policy has a role in facilitating friendship support through investment, integrating group support with one-to-one methods and tackling stigma.

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Keywords

Teenage Mothers and Social Isolation: The Role of Friendship as Protection against Relational Exclusion

  • Kyla Ellis-Sloan (a1) and Amy Tamplin (a2)

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