Psychological Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

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Psychological Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

In recent years, the rate of teen pregnancies in America has increased dramatically. Approximately 750,000 teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant every year, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Within this number, 82% of the pregnancies are unplanned. The psychological effects of these pregnancies can be severe.

 Birth and Post-Birth Issues
* More than half of teenage pregnancies continue to birth. According to a researcher at the Transnational Family Research Institute, teenage mothers are at a high risk of experiencing depression, birth complications, toxemia, anemia and even death. Teenage girls are often not emotionally prepared for childbirth or being a mother and can experience extreme depression, anxiety, resentment and feelings of failure. Esteem Issues

* Because of the stigma that exists regarding teenage pregnancy in many societies, pregnant teens may deal with feelings of shame, guilt, anger, denial and depression. Only 1/3 of teenage mothers complete high school and receive a diploma, according to research conducted by the Robin Hood Foundation. Apart from future financial and employment problems, this can be a contributing factor toward negative self-esteem. Teenagers are often afraid to tell friends, parents or other family members about the pregnancy, which can lead to further anxiety, feelings of shame and withdrawal from society.

Effects of Pregnancy Termination
* Guttmacher Institute research states that 43% of teenage pregnancies are terminated due to miscarriage or abortion. A pregnancy that results in an abortion can have long-term psychological effects, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, extreme regret, sleep disorders, and anxiety disorders, according to AbortionFacts.com. Because of the shame or guilt teens may experience regarding pregnancy and abortion, they rarely seek out help and are left trying to deal with these issues on their own. This can cause disruption in every other area of the young woman's life, including school, family, relationships and health. The feelings of guilt may continue throughout the years if not brought out into the open and dealt with. Future Problems

* Teenage mothers are at a higher risk of poverty, inability to maintain a stable job, ending up in abusive homes, having children who perform poorly in school, and having daughters with a 22% higher risk of also becoming pregnant during their teenage years, according to research conducted by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Effects on Teen Mothers
When a teenage girl trades in a prom dress and Friday night football games for diapers and pediatrician appointments, there are bound to be psychological effects. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry indicates that teenage pregnancy is almost always a crisis for the girl, her family and the father's family. Even after the baby is born, a teenage mom is likely to feel a variety of emotions. Other People Are Reading

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Psychological Effects
* Babies born to teenage mothers are at risk of poverty, school failure, mental health problems and physical health conditions. Teenage moms also find themselves at risk for these problems. Being a teenage mom can have a variety of psychological effects, including postpartum depression and feelings of regret. Teenage moms may feel overwhelmed, irritated, anxious and fearful about the future of their babies and themselves. Others may not recognize the serious responsibilities that come with having a child. Some teenage mothers may be nervous...
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