The physical and mental health of children of teenage mothers differs from that of children of older mothers. Compared with the overall population of Canada, Inuit experience first-time pregnancy earlier. However, little population-based research has examined health outcomes for Inuit children of women who began childbearing in their teens.
This study uses data from the 2006 Aboriginal Children's Survey to compare physical and mental health outcomes of 2- to 5-year-old Inuit children of teenage and older mothers.
The physical and mental health outcomes of Inuit children differed depending on whether their mother had been a teenager or aged 25 or older when she began childbearing. Although some differences were explained by socio-economic factors, others, namely, ear infections, dental problems and hyperactivity/inattention, were not.
Further research is needed to determine what underlies differences in the mental and physical health of Inuit children of teenage and older mothers.