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.
Bibliographical noteThis article has been published in a revised form in Social Policy and Society http://doi.org/10.1017/S1474746418000106. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press 2018
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- School of Humanities and Social Science - Subject Lead Sociology and Criminology, Principal Lecturer
- Cities, Injustice and Resistance Research and Enterprise Group
- Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender