Social Life of Early Parenthood

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Chapter II
Review of Related Literature
Being a teenage parent can be challenging because you are still learning the adult skills needed to gain independence within the world. As a teenage parent, you are facing an intense learning curve when it comes to raising your child in a healthy and productive way. Knowing some of the adverse effects of raising a child as a teenage parent may help you avoid making certain mistakes (Boehlke, 2011) In the social life of early parenthood the one that will be affected most is the teenage mother. Teen motherhood is commonly believed to cause long-term socioeconomic and public health disadvantages, such as lower birth weights, education, work experience and wages, more persistent poverty and welfare dependency, and higher rates of infant mortality, substance abuse and violent crime (Furstenberg et al., 1987).

Recent strands of the sociological and economic literatures have argued that the adverse effects of teenage childbearing primarily reflect unmeasured family background rather than the true consequences of a teen birth (Geronimus, 1992).

Some social critics argue that because pregnancy limits a teenager’s opportunities for education and well-paying jobs, many are forced to accept welfare to support themselves and their children. Only 64 percent of teen moms graduate from high school or earn a general education diploma within two years after they would have graduated compared with 94 percent of teenage girls who do not give birth. This lack of education increases the risk of poverty and welfare dependence by severely restricting a young parent’s opportunity for a lucrative job and financial independence (Guttmacher, 1994).

Teenage mothers often experience social exclusion. Relationships with both their parents and friends can become more distant after a girl finds out that she is pregnant and this effect is often long lasting. Teenage mothers frequently report that they have no support, and colleagues, they are twice...
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