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Saturday, April 7, 2012

teenage pregnancy

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Teenage pregnancy and childbearing are key factors in leading teenage mothers into social disadvantage lives. Women who give birth as teenagers share many similarities prior to becoming pregnant in terms of family background and education (Hofferth, Reid, & Mott, 001). Teenage mothers who drop out of school tend to experience more disadvantages than those who stay in school.


The effect of pregnancy and childbirth on young mothers is often the cessation of education. Teenage pregnancy and non-completion of school can cause young mothers to experience lives of poverty. Her free time decreases because of the amount of time needed for the child (Hofferth et al., 001). For teenage mothers, taking care of children consumes time and energy. The time and energy spent on a child could have been devoted to school, work and leisure time activities (Hofferth et al., 001). Most teenagers that give birth to children drop out of school. A younger teenager is not as prepared as an older women to bear a child so it causes disadvantages for her. Teenagers that have a child at a younger age may have had less education, come from a single-parent family themselves and have many siblings (Hofferth et al., 001). The mothers of these teenagers that have these risk factors engage in early sexual activity and consequently become pregnant (Hofferth et al., 001). Several recent studies have used experiments such as comparing teenagers who have had a miscarriage with a teenager who has given birth to a child, to examine the effects of a teenage birth. One study found that teenage mothers that gave birth before the age of 18 have a reduced rate of high school graduation (Hofferth et al., 001). Of those teenage mothers, 41% obtained a high school degree, while 61% teenage girls who did not give births as teenagers obtained a high school degree (Hofferth et al., 001).


The amount of school completed for a women affects her life. It also affects her opportunities for marriage, her circle of friends and her income from work, which can also lead to poverty. Girls who give birth during their adolescent years tend to function less effectively in numerous ways than their peers who delay childbearing (Hofferth et al., 001). However, recent research indicates that many of the negative outcomes of adolescent motherhood, such as low educational achievement and consequent poverty, precede rather than stem from early parenthood (Hofferth et al., 001). In essence, teenage childbearing adds to the limited prospects of already disadvantaged adolescent girls. These outcomes include poorer psychological functioning, lower rates of school completion, lower levels of marital stability, less stable employment, greater welfare use, higher rates of poverty, and slightly greater rates of health problems for both mother and child as compared to peers who postpone childbearing (Hofferth et al., 001). Other consequences of teenage pregnancy and motherhood are low-achievement, low-motivation, the teenagers immaturity and lack of success in school which are also linked to the fact that teenage mothers drop out of school (Hofferth et al., 001). Therefore Hofferth et al. (001) would expect early child bearers to be less likely than their childless peers to complete high school or at least college. Moore, Manlove, Glei, & Morrison (18) studied adolescent mothers and concluded that early parenthood had a strong negative effect on the educational attainment of girls, such that young mothers were unlikely to continue their education beyond giving birth and thus obtained lower total levels of education than their peers who delayed childbirth. In large part because of low educational attainment, teenage mothers have lower incomes as adults and are more likely to be on welfare than their peers who delay childbirth (Moore et al., 18). Overall, young mothers with a high school degree and work experience, may provide the needed incentive to obtain and maintain stable employment. Mothers with low education skills and poor functioning, or with other family problems, may have great difficulty maintaining stable employment, and thus may suffer a substantial loss in income (Moore et al., 18).


However, parental involvement in their daughter’s school such as attending school meetings, participating in school activities, going to their daughters honor ceremony are not related to whether their daughters will become pregnant. Furthermore, adolescents who are involved in religious organizations are less likely to bear a child. Teenage girls who belong to a club or attend church are those who most likely will not bear a child in high school (Moore et al., 18).


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Several techniques have been developed to attempt to separate out the effects of background factors which influence both the probability of a teenage birth and the future functioning of the young mother from the effects of early childbearing. For example, a number of studies have compared sets of sisters, one of whom had a child as a teenager and one of whom delayed childbearing until adulthood, in order to control for differences in family background factors commonly found between teenagers who do and do not become young parents (Hoffman, 18). Such studies found that the effects of teenage childbearing on high school completion and total educational attainment are much smaller than previous studies had indicated. For example, Hoffman, (18) found that postponing a teenage birth to after the age of 0 would increase the total educational attainment. This study found that having a child before the age of 18 reduces the likelihood of graduation from high school but attaining a GED ( General Equivalency Degree). However, a GED may carry a lower return in future earnings than a high school diploma (Hoffman, 18). This seems to be possible because of some teenage mothers that have a child and atten school at the same time. This is due to the fact that there all several programs that exists for this matter. There are day cares in the school which watch the child for the teenager while she is in school.


There are multiple negative consequences associated with teen pregnancy (Moore et al., 18). Teenagers who have babies at an early age are less likely to complete high school, and more likely to be on welfare or to work at a job with a low income and experience poverty than women who delay childbearing until an older age (Moore et al., 18). The disadvantages for teenage girls who bear a child at such a young age reduce their education or employment opportunities. For women who delay pregnancy and childbirth, there are some advantages (Hofferth et al., 001). The mother is more experienced with life itself, has a better education background and often has a steady job and steady marriage. As life progresses, such factors integrate themselves with life and having a child.





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