Teenage girls in Britain who get pregnant are mostly doing it by choice, a new study found.
Many girls, some as young as 13, are choosing motherhood in the expectation that having a baby will improve the quality of their lives, The Independent reported. Often, young girls -- particularly in the more deprived parts of Britain -- see motherhood as a preferable and more rewarding alternative to a dead-end job, said researchers for the Trust for the Study of Adolescence.
The study challenges the long-held image of teenage mothers as irresponsible and ignorant, the newspaper said. Many young mothers in the study reported being happy with their decision to have children at a young age.
Also, many of the girls said they were in steady relationships with the father of their child.
The research may have huge implications for government policy, The Independent said. Britain has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Baby cries show evidence of cocaine exposure during pregnancy