2nd Edition

Teenage Pregnancy and Young Parenthood Effective Policy and Practice

By Alison Hadley Copyright 2025
    264 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What happened next? This updated edition of Teenage Pregnancy and Young Parenthood examines the research and practice in this vital field since the end of the UK Government’s highly successful Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (TPS) for England which contributed to reducing the under-18 pregnancy rate by well over 50%.

    Alison Hadley, together with Roger Ingham, Joanna Nichols and Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli, summarise the latest research in the field, review the work of a wide range of local authorities, and provide insight from interviews with practitioners who are at the sharp end of delivering services both for young people seeking to prevent early pregnancy and for young parents. Providing a comprehensive overview of the original project, the book captures and shares the lessons from the TPS, documents the details of implementing a long-term strategy with its innovative approach to policy issues, and considers the implications of the study internationally.

    Advocating a ‘whole systems’ multi-agency approach, it focusses on how to implement policy successfully, and demonstrates evidence for what is effective, both in helping young people avoid unplanned pregnancy and in improving outcomes for young parents. This edition also considers how to sustain the gains made by the original strategy. Key new topics covered include: an overview of the national context since 2016 through the pandemic; the introduction of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE); access to contraception and sexual health service; and addressing inequalities.

    As in the first edition of the book, a chapter is devoted to efforts to reduce adolescent childbearing elsewhere in the world. It contains country case studies from Argentina, Ethiopia, Moldova and Thailand which illustrate what can be achieved with visionary leadership, rigorous science, and strong management in diverse contexts.

    Teenage Pregnancy and Young Parenthood is essential reading for policy makers and practitioners dealing with young people’s health, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of psychology, health studies, social work, youth work, education, social policy, sociology and related disciplines.


    1. Variation in teenage conception rates

    2. Reducing rates of teenage conceptions

    3. England’s teenage pregnancy strategy: rationale, development and first phase implementation. (1999-2005)

    4. The second phase of implementation: reviewing, redoubling efforts and reaching the target (2005-2018)

    5. What happened next: a national and local perspective (2018-2024)

    6. Translating evidence into action: continuing to embed the ten key factors for an effective strategy in a new and resource poor landscape

    7. Improving the lives of young parents: developments and challenges since 2018.

    8. Adolescent childbearing globally: tangible progress made, but much more to be done – developments since 2018



    Alison Hadley OBE is the Director of the Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange at the University of Bedfordshire and previously led the implementation of the Labour government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy for England.

    Roger Ingham is Professor of Health and Community Psychology at the University of Southampton.

    Joanna Nichols is Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership at the University of Bradford.

    Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli has recently retired after a 30-year career in the World Health Organisation.

    Reviews from the First Edition

    ‘This extraordinary book charts the development, implementation and evaluation of the UK Government’s highly successful Teenage Pregnancy Strategy for England, which reduced the under-18 pregnancy rate by well over 50%. It highlights the principles – of evidence, of partnership, and of the need for a holsitic approach – that brought about the change. And it signals the important role that Government can play in promoting young people’s sexual and reproductive health. Reflecting on her own experience and the voices of the strategy’s participants, Alison Hadley identifies key lessons for the future. A key resource and a compelling read. Strongly recommended to all who seek success in sexual and reproductive health.’ - Peter Aggleton, Scientia Professor in Education and Health, UNSW Sydney, Australia, and Visiting Professor, UCL Institute of Education, London.

    ‘Inside find an important story of success...Teen pregnancy is influenced by social forces that shape adolescent opportunities - particularly education and employment - for a successful future and factors such as knowledge and use of contraception. Social progress in a nation is also create by enlightened political leadership and the committed leadership of individual citizens. The success of the English strategy to prevent teenage pregnancy is a testament to all of these. Alison Hadley, Venkratraman Chandra-Mouli and Roger Ingham tell an extraordinary tale of scientific understanding, visionary leadership, and long-term dedication to adolescent sexual and reproductive health. A story from which we all can learn.’ - John Santelli, MD, MPH, Professor, Population and Family Health and Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York City, USA

    "This book offers a valuable insight into the development and implementation of a long-term strategy to successfully address a complex public health priority. As well as documenting the important detail of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy and its practical application at local level, it importantly includes the voices of those involved. This brings to life the reality of delivering the programme and illustrates the extraordinary commitment of so many people to improving young people's choices. As England continues to apply the lessons and make further progress, I am delighted the learning is being shared internationally in collaboration with the World Health Organisation." Duncan Selbie, Public Health England