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Wednesday 21st August 2019

Do sisters influence pregnancy?

9th August 2011

UK and Norwegian researchers have suggested that women who get pregnant when they are teenagers could be influenced by their sisters.


The study, which looked at data for over 42,000 girls in Norway, found that women were more likely to fall pregnant if they had a sister who had become pregnant as a teenager.

The effect was amplified if the sisters were close in age or from a deprived background.

The research, carried out with the help of the University of Bristol, looked closely at how sisters influenced each other.

The report said: "Sisters generally spend more time together than schoolmates or friends and so sisters are likely to be influenced by the behaviour of their siblings." 

The study examined data from sisters born from 1947 to 1958 from different areas of the country.

It showed that the likelihood of a woman having a baby as a teenager went from one in five to two in five if her sister had also become pregnant when she was in her teens.

Professor Carol Propper, one of the researchers, said: "Two groups were particularly vulnerable - those in low income households and sisters close in age."

"The research says how important family is compared to institutions or mandating children to stay at school for an extra couple of years."

"It is important when thinking about campaigns to affect teen pregnancy. More policies aimed directly at decreasing teenage pregnancy may be needed in order to reduce teen births." 


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