Experiences and Aspirations of Younger Mothers


Kate Butler, Prof Morag McArthur, Dr Gail Winkworth, Bronwyn Thomson, Renee Crowe

Funding Source:

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs


This qualitative project aimed to explore how becoming a mother affected the lives of young women and their families. As the social context for both young people and motherhood changed, there was a clear need to identify the experiences and needs of young mothers (aged under 25 years at the birth of their first child).

This project also sought to find out about the types of support young mothers received, from both family and friends and from formal services that designed to assist them, and aimed to find out what made it hard for young mothers to use services and how this could be improved.


Research monograph

Butler, K., McArthur, M., Winkworth, G., Thomson, B., & Crowe, R. (2010). Experiences and Aspirations of Younger Mothers. Canberra: Institute of Child Protection Studies, ACU.

Associated publications

McArthur, M., & Barry, E. (2013). Younger Mothers: Stigma and Support. Research to Practice Series, Issue 3, September. Canberra: Institute of Child Protection Studies, ACU.

McArthur, M., & Barry, E. (2012, 17 October). Taking the big stick to single parents is not the answer [Opinion Article]. The Conversation.

McArthur, M. & Winkworth, G. (2013). The hopes and dreams of Australian young mothers in receipt of income support. Communities, Children and Families Australia, 7(1), 47-62.