Effects of Teen Pregnancies on the Children Involved

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Effects of teen pregnancies on the children involved. These children are far more likely to grow up in poverty, to have more health problems, to suffer from higher rates of abuse and neglect, to fail in school, to become teen mothers, to commit delinquent acts and adult crimes, and to incur failed adult marriages and other relationships.

The burdens of early childbearing on disadvantaged teens are undeniable. Trying to untangle the factors which contribute to teenage pregnancy from its effects, however, leads to a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" dilemma. Educational failure, poverty, unemployment and low self-esteem are understood to be negative outcomes of early childbearing. These circumstances also contribute to the likelihood of teen pregnancy.

In general, teen mothers have much lower levels of educational attainment than other women, which severely limit their career options and sharply increase their likelihood of economic dependency. Only 70% of teen mothers complete high school or earn a GED, and far fewer

Risk Factors. Although it is not inevitable, some life circumstances place girls at higher risk of becoming teen mothers. These include poverty, poor school performance, growing up in a single parent household, having a mother who was an adolescent mother, or having a sister who has become pregnant.

Teenage pregnancies have become a public health issue because of their observed negative effects on perinatal outcomes and long-term morbidity. The association of young maternal age and long-term morbidity is usually confounded, however, by the high prevalence of poverty, low level of education, and single marital status among teenage mothers.

Children of teenage mothers have significantly higher odds of placement in certain special education classes and significantly higher occurrence of milder education problems, but when maternal education, marital status, poverty level, and race are controlled, the detrimental...
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