Teenage Mothers and Social Isolation: The role of friendship as protection against relational exclusion

Kyla Ellis-Sloan, Amy Tamplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-218
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

This 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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