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"The Everyday Life Information Seeking Behaviour of First-Time Pregnant Teenagers from Areas of Deprivation during their Final Weeks of Pregnacy." L. Smith. S. Buchanan. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2012. Download PDF (BibTeX) MSc Information and Library Studies

The aim of this research is to understand the information needs of first-time pregnant teenagers during the final weeks of pregnancy, how these needs manifest and how their preference and choice of sources, their judgements of relevant and reliable information and the barriers they face affect the teenagers meeting those needs.

The final weeks of pregnancy for any woman can be stressful and an uncertain time with the oncoming life-changing event. Furthermore, the birth itself being an unknown experience can bring further worries and the need for more information. It was therefore hypothesised that this period would be particularly anxious for first-time pregnant teenagers from areas of deprivation. This study wanted to see if the pregnant teenagers had specific information needs during these final weeks, what they were, and if responding to these needs eased their worries. Three teenagers from a youth centre situated in an area of particular deprivation, along with five information gatekeepers, who work with pregnant teenagers within the Greater Glasgow area, were the focus of this study. A combination of dairies and semi-structured interviews with the teenagers together with semi-structured interviews with the information gatekeepers aimed to look at the Everyday Life Information Seeking behaviour of the girls to gain an understanding of their information needs.

It was found that the teenagers appeared to have similar information needs to any other pregnant woman, but the girl's socioeconomic situation changed the priorities of these needs. Furthermore, the priority of these information needs changed according to whose perspectives these needs were coming from: the teenager's or the gatekeeper's. Their choice of source appeared to be strongly linked with relevance and reliability and surprisingly the teenagers were reassuringly good at using the right source for the right information need. However this faltered slightly when it came to online sources. Human contact seemed to be their favoured source and trust came up as the key theme that allowed the teenagers to fulfil their information needs. Barriers such as their age, motivation, illiteracy, their socioeconomic background, social stigma and lack of resources to name a few, were found to be the root problem for pregnant teenagers meeting their information needs.

In conclusion it appeared that some of the teenagers did have worries towards the end of their pregnancy and they did indeed access more information to ease this anxiety, but different barriers prevented this access, especially the social stigma around teenage pregnancy and the lack of resources available. Furthermore, it was felt that their age and relaxed attitude in fact benefited their pregnancy overall.