Adolescent Motherhood

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Research suggests that young mothers encounter significantly more challenges but have fewer resources and less social support than adult mothers (Passino et al., 1993). Lack of social support may exacerbate other problems typically encountered by adolescent mothers such as role conflict and restriction, attenuated educational achievement, underemployment, school changes, unstable relationships with the child’s father, difficulties due to dependence on their families, and physical health problems for themselves and their babies (Gee & Rhodes, 2003; Miller, Miceli, Whitman, & Borkowski, 1996; Pasley et al., 1993; Wiemann, Berenson, Wagner, & Landwehr, 1996). Low social support, parenting stress, depression, and inadequate coping responses may lead to abusive parenting practices (Kurtz & Derevensky, 1994; Reis, 1989). Children of young mothers are at greater risk for maltreatment than children of adult mothers (Dukewich, Borkowski, & Whitman, 1996; Klerman, 1993). Research has shown that 36% to 51% of all abused children are raised by young mothers (Bolton, 1990). Bolton asserted that stressors such as social isolation, poor understanding of child development, and poverty may provide the foundation for the development of abusive parenting behavior.

Symptoms that a troubled teen who has endured teen pregnancy is now suffering from postpartum depression may include: crying more than usual, feeling sad much of the time, unable to concentrate; the troubled teen finds it difficult to remember where she placed things; she is unable to enjoy the things she used to enjoy; she is exhausted but unable to sleep even when her baby sleeps; she is tired most of the day; she feels like she will always feel this way; she is afraid to be alone; and she may wish she were dead rather than "feel this way" any longer.

Postpartum depression can lead to tension and anxiety which can cause headaches, neck pain, and chest tightness. [The teen mother] may also start feeling panicked or...
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