The Health, School, and Social Outcomes of Off-Reserve First Nations Children of Teenage Mothers

Anne Guèvremont, Dafna Kohen


Children of teenage mothers differ in their health, social, and educational outcomes compared to children of older mothers. Even though the teen birth rate for First Nations women in Canada is higher than the national teen birth rate, there has been little research examining the outcomes of off-reserve First Nations children born to mothers who began childbearing in their teen years. Using data from the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this study examined the health, social, and educational outcomes of off-reserve First Nations children, aged six to fourteen, who were born to teenage mothers, as compared to those born to older mothers. Off-reserve First Nations children of teenage mothers were more likely to be rated by their mothers as having dental problems, more likely to have failed a grade, less likely to be rated as doing very well in school, and less likely to have maternal reports of school satisfaction. They were also more likely to be rated as not getting along well in the last six months with their teachers, parents, and siblings. Although some of these differences were explained by socio-economic characteristics (getting along with teachers and parents, doing well in school), differences in all three domains (dental problems, getting along with parents, grade failure and parental school satisfaction) remained. Recommendations for future research are discussed.


teen mother, health, school, social outcomes

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Support: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada