Parenting at any age is difficult, but being a parent as a teen is even more challenging. In 2013 just over 273,000 babies were born to teens between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. Due to the numerous amount of pregnancies this has affected teen parents’ education. In addition, the babies born to these teen parents have suffered the most, such as not having the proper care needed and are more likely to develop inferior parenting traits.Teens who get pregnant are not just hurting themselves, but also the baby by giving them the chance to die earlier in life due to the lack of prenatal care, the chances of their children being teen parents themselves and by the baby having many complications such as lung disease and underdeveloped lungs.
Taxpayers pay roughly 16.5 billion dollars every year to welfare and Medicaid programs to aid these young parents who are almost always incapable of taking full financial responsibility for the child. In addition, because the average age of menarche has reached an all-time low of about 12-13 years of age, a larger percentage of teenage girls have a higher risk of getting pregnant more now than ever. The fact that four out of five teenagers are sexually active also contributes to the fact that teenage girls have a higher risk of getting pregnant. Teenage mothers are often living in single-mother houses, are minority, and are already considered poor. The consequences of teenage pregnancy can be costly and grave.
Throughout generations, teen pregnancy has been an alarming social issue that has been a concerning in the American race. Becoming a teen parent brings obstacles such as, lower expectations of graduating high school, not being able to attend college and decrease of success rate in the job industry. Obstacles in raising a child cannot only harm the adolescent childbearing mother but the child as well. Moreover, research has found that children of teens have a worse cognitive and behavioral outcome than older mothers (Teen pregnancy). Studies have found that the reason to these psychological problem is the result of the mother not being economically stable.
Also, majority of teen mothers are under-paid; they earn $6,500 yearly making them dependent on public assistance (Dorlisa & Shandler, 2011). Pregnancy brings more financial troubles for teenagers; the cost of caring for a baby is extremely high. They are obligated to rely on their parents for financial support. Teenage pregnancy negatively impacts family and society. There is a strong correlation between teenage pregnancy and high school drop- out rates (Gyan, 2014).
For reasons not entirely known, teen pregnancy rates have seen a drastic decline in recent years. The number of teens between ages 15-19 giving birth is about 24 births for every 1,000 teenage girls. Teen pregnancies are more than often unplanned and the effects it has can be detrimental to those involved. Teen pregnancy has a major impact on both the mother and baby, having a child during adolescence can lead to mental health conditions, poor physical health, and social challenges for the baby growing up and social challenges for the mother throughout the rest of her life. The changes a woman’s body goes through during a pregnancy can have a huge effect on the mental state of the mother.
Many teens who end up pregnant do not finish high school and are less likely even consider going to college. Another effect of teen pregnancy is that both mother and child become apt to health issues. Infants are more likely to suffer from low birth weight and other health problems. Most teens do not have health insurance therefore it becomes harder to provide adequate healthcare for themselves and their babies. Not only are children of teen parents more likely to be unhealthy physically but sometimes emotionally as well.
The male is usually older than the female in the relationship, and pressures the girl into having unprotected sex. Girls born to teenage mothers also have a 22% higher chance of becoming teen moms themselves, for they often live in a poor environment, like their mothers once did. Significantly, those affected by teenage pregnancy have many similarities. Furthermore, there are major health issues surrounding teenage pregnancy. For one, teen mothers are two to six times more likely to have low birth-weight babies, compared to mothers above twenty years of age.
This means that the pregnancy was not planned, and was most likely trying to be prevented. Another shocking statistic is that 34 percent of all teenage girls have at least one pregnancy before they turn 20 (Teen Help np). Although the teen pregnancy rate has been slowly decreasing throughout recent years, 820,000 teen pregnancies are still far too many. In this day and age, most people aren’t getting married until they are in their mid to upper 20’s because this is when they feel like they are finally secure in their careers and have more financial stability. In the past though, it was usual for people to get married at the age of 20 or even younger.
Stable jobs are typically harder to find with a lack of higher education and cause financial instability for the mother. From its peak in 1990, teen pregnancy rates have declined by 42% by 2008 (Healthyteennetwork.org) yet this is still higher than any first world country. Teen pregnancy is an ongoing battle and should be considered won when it is eradicated.
The father of the child is so penniless himself that he cannot afford legal support payments. Not only does this take a toll on the parent’s life, but the child’s life as well. As a result, “ the daughters of young teen mothers are three times more likely to become teen mothers themselves, and the sons of teen mothers are twice as likely to end up in prison” (“Teen Pregnancy”). The cycle of this trend precedes each year, yet the use of wisdom and contraception will help decline this outrageous, teenage pregnancy