The information needs of young first time mothers from areas of multiple deprivations

Buchanan, Steven (2018). The information needs of young first time mothers from areas of multiple deprivations. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-853129

Information informs, guides, and empowers; but persistent barriers to access and use are societally divisive and as yet not fully understood, particularly amongst marginalised groups. Addressing enduring issues of information poverty, this project sought to better understand the information needs of vulnerable young first time mothers (YFTM) aged 21 or under from deprived areas, and associated barriers to information access and use, by identifying and better understanding the: everyday information needs, seeking preferences, and challenges of YFTM; and the +/- factors influencing YFTM engagement with supportive services, and the appropriate assistive intervention points and methods. At time of study the UK has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe, with associated conception rates correlated to multiple deprivation indexes. At risk groups are disadvantaged and disengaged, with significant health and wellbeing issues reported for both mother and child. Intervention programmes focus on early parenting needs with on-going holistic educational support considered key to long-term social inclusion/reintegration; however, there is evidence that mainstream services are failing to provide such support with significant unmet YFTM information needs reported, and overarching concerns raised regarding equity of access to information in both the physical and digital space. A significant challenge in addressing holistic YFTM information needs relates to our limited understanding of young peoples' everyday information needs, preferences and seeking behavior generally, and more specifically, in impoverished and/or marginalized circumstances (limiting effective tailored service design and delivery considered key to access and use). There are complex and as yet not fully understood access barriers and internalised behavioural barriers to consider, the former influenced by digital divide and information literacy issues, the latter by social structures and norms; barriers that we believe put YFTM, and in turn their children, at greater risk of becoming impoverished information outsiders, living a stratified and disengaged existence. This project, recognising the importance of information access to economic and social mobility, and health and wellbeing; explored young mother information needs, seeking preferences and challenges, and sought to advance our understanding of the +/- factors influencing engagement of marginalised groups in both the physical and digital space, including appropriate assistive intervention points and strategies to not only meet immediate needs, but to foster independent lifelong learning and on-going social inclusion. Output will guide both policy (what to provide and from whom) and process (how to provide) of public information service providers (including collaborative aspects). This project brought together theories of social capital and social networks with theories and models of information behaviour to address issues of information poverty in both the physical and digital space. The project aligned with ESRC strategic priority influencing behaviour and informing interventions, and associated questions: how to understand behaviour and risks at multiple levels and a variety of contexts; how and why do behaviours change; and how does the interplay of child, family, community and wider society influence inequalities in wellbeing?

Data description (abstract)

The dataset deposited includes the following: (1) demographic profiles for 39 vulnerable young first time mothers from areas of multiple deprivations who variously participated in this study. Demographic data provides age of mothers, age of babies or stage of pregnancy, education, and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivations ranking for residential location. (2) Questionnaire data for 26 vulnerable young first time mothers from areas of multiple deprivations. Questionnaire data identifies what types of information needs young mothers have, and how confident they are in their own ability to meet these needs. Questionnaire data also identifies the various information sources that young mothers utilise (or not), and in relation, how useful and trustworthy they considered various sources of information. (3) 30 in-depth individual and small group interviews that were conducted with 39 vulnerable young first time mothers from areas of multiple deprivations. Interviews explored information needs in depth, associated information seeking preferences and influencing factors, and the barriers to meeting information needs. (4) 12 in-depth individual and small group interviews that were conducted with 22 professionals providing support to vulnerable young first time mothers from areas of multiple deprivations. Interviews were semi-structured around everyday information needs, seeking preferences and issues that professional participants observed and dealt with during interactions with young mothers. (5) 4 focus groups that were conducted with 36 professionals providing support to vulnerable young first time mothers from areas of multiple deprivations. Professionals were asked to initially discuss the various information needs, sources utilised, and issues experienced by young mothers; and to then discuss what they themselves found difficult during their information interactions with young mothers.

Creators:
Creator NameEmailAffiliationORCID (as URL)
Buchanan, Stevensteven.buchanan@strath.ac.ukUniversity of StratchclydeUnspecified
Research funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Grant reference: ES/L012634/1
Subjects: Science and technology
Health
Social stratification and groupings
Keywords: information needs, communication and information studies, health education
Project title: Understanding the Information Needs of Young First Time Mothers from Areas of Mulitiple Deprivation
Grant holders: Steven Buchanan, Ian Ruthven
Project dates:
FromTo
1 June 201530 November 2017
Date published: 10 May 2018 11:29
Last modified: 10 May 2018 11:30

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