The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy: Examining the Results of 12 Studies

While teenage pregnancy rates have dropped significantly over the last decade (as much as 44%, according to the CDC), it still remains a major issue in many parts of the developed world.  The results of a dozen different studies regarding teenage pregnancy were rounded up in 12 Studied Effects of Teenage Pregnancy. The results are very interesting, and something that every teenager or parent of a teenager should consider.

Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy

  • Teenage Pregnancy and High School Dropout Rates- A study performed by Child Trends discovered that 34% of teenage moms do not receive a high school diploma or GED before they turn 22. While this is an alarming number, the study doesn’t take into account those teenagers who have already dropped out of school or had major academic issues before becoming pregnant.
  • Teen Moms and College- Not surprisingly, when you take the above statistics into account, only 2% of teen moms earn a college degree before age 30. If you were a teen mom, keep in mind that you can go back to school any time. Never think you’re too old, many women are earning degrees in their 50s and beyond!
  • Higher Suicide Rates- Teenage moms have a much higher chance of committing suicide than their counterparts. Stress, economic conditions, and isolation from family are major contributing factors. A good support system is vital to teen moms, not just to prevent a devastating act like suicide, but to ensure that they lead fuller and happier lives in general.
  • A Family Connection- Siblings of teenage moms are at an increased risk of becoming teenage parents themselves.  Likewise, children of teenage mothers are also at a higher risk of having children very young as well.
  • Increased Risk of Living in Poverty- Teenage pregnancy increases the risk of living in poverty, both for the teen parents themselves and for their children. Part of the reason lies in the fact that fewer teen moms obtain a high school diploma.
  • Lower Academic Rates in Children- The children of teenage moms often obtain lower academic scores in school than children of older parents. This is more likely linked to the economic situation of those children than the fact that their mom was very young when they were born. In some cases, though, lack of prenatal care can lead to educational problems later in life.
  • Multiple Young Pregnancies- One-quarter of girls who deliver their first baby during the teen years go on to have another baby within 2 years. This can lead to having several babies before the age of 18 if they girl starts very young.
  • Increased risk of death-Due to underdeveloped bodies and lack of proper prenatal care, teenage pregnancy in girls between ages 15 and 20 are twice as likely to result in the mom dying during the pregnancy or childbirth. Teenage moms are also more likely to develop other medical problems.
  • Higher incidence of male children ending up in prison. Sons of teenage moms have a higher risk of ending up in prison than sons of older moms. Again, the major factor in this is the socioeconomic status of the child, and not necessarily the mom herself.
  • Less likely to marry. Teen moms are more likely to remain single than older moms. While remaining single is a lifestyle choice and is not necessarily a negative thing, it does impact the mom’s support system.

When looking at these studies and the results, it is important to remember that many teenage moms go on to live wonderful, fulfilling lives and raise brilliant children that go on to become successful adults. The best way to avoid complications is to ensure that teen parents have a strong support system.

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About Nicole Etolen

Nicole Etolen is the Editor-In-Chief of OurFamilyWorld and its sister site, MyKidsGuide. She is also a blogger and former Certified Nurses Aide. She's been writing most of her life and realized that she could combine her writing talents with her medical knowledge to help others in a new way. Nicole is also the owner of PrettyOpinionated.com. When she's not writing 12 hours a day, she enjoys reading and spending time with her very cool son.

Comments

  1. I think this is a great post. I have to say although a lot of what you said can happen; it doesn’t always turn out that way. :) My family member had her first child at 16. She graduated high school and completed her first year of college in the same year. She did marry (not that baby’s father) and has had 2 more children since then. (the oldest is now 22, then her 18 year old and almost 15 year old) are all great kids. She married a professional and is a nurse herself. Just goes to show that with proper family support not all pregnant teen-agers end up on the ‘bad’ side. But I do agree with your post that it can happen that way. I have always believed bad things happen to good people and in this instance a baby is always a miracle.

  2. You are so right. A lot has to do with the level of maturity of the teenager as well as solid consistent family support. The family would need to be supportive throughout the beginning of the pregnancy and especially after the child is born.

    • I got pregnant at seventeen. I was really scared. I had no job. I was faced with having to repeat my senior year, so it is not like I would be out of high school. My parents kicked me out when they found out that I was pregnant, they said they did not need another mouth to feed. The baby’s father did not want any part of me or our baby. I had no where to go. I was so depressed that I was thinking of killing myself. If it were not me being pregnant, I think I would have. I was already depressed before I got pregnant, but now it seemed as though there was no hope. None of my friends would help me, because they did not need a pregnant whore slowing them down on the party scene. No guy would take me in because who would want a girl who had nothing to offer but responsibility. The baby’s father’s parents turned the other cheek, as if there son had no part in making this thing that was growing inside me. They tried to spread the rumor this baby was not his, and I think people believed it. I did not believe it though, I knew better. I was alone then!!

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