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Teen Pregnancy

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Teen pregnancy has been a problem in the United States for years. Although rates have dropped since the 1990’s, teen pregnancy rates in the United States are still higher than other western societies (Arai, 2009). Teenage pregnancy is accompanied with many negative consequences such as shortened educational experience, diminished employment, larger family size, increased risk of single- parent and poverty (Turner, 1990). Teen mothers struggle on a daily basis. In order to help them through their struggle, they can benefit from a psychoeducational group that will teach them parenting skills, social skills, and provide them with the support they need in order to maintain a healthy life style. The population I will focus on is pregnant teenagers and teen mothers from the ages of 15-19. The group can also include teenage fathers. Psychoeducational groups will work best for this population because it will create a safe place where teenagers can learn parenting skills and have the support of one another (DeLucia, 2006). Since each teen is going through the same situation, they will be able to relate to one another and feel understood. Infant Development While there are negative consequences for the mother, the infant is also at risk by being born to a teenage mother. One of the most common occurrences is low birth weight (Strunk, 2008). Low birth weight increases the mortality rate. It also has long-term effects such as developmental and cognitive delays. Low birth weight can be caused by the mother’s lack of prenatal care, poor diet and stress (Strunk, 2008). Prior to becoming pregnant, the teen’s bodies are not prepared for the change. Pregnancy takes a toll on the body that most teens are not ready for. When their body is not r... ... middle of paper ... ...ies, the girls can be taught coping strategies that they can use when they are in stressful situations. When they know how to appropriately handle a situation, they are less likely to take it out on their children. Also, keeping their stress at a low level will have positive benefits for the parent-child relationship. The benefits of a psychoeducational group for teen pregnancy are evident. At this age, teens are experiencing many developmental changes and raising a child at the same time can be overwhelming. Since teen pregnancy is becoming more common, it is inevitable that counselors working with adolescences or families will encounter this topic. Even though odds are against teen mothers, it is important for counselors to know that the girls do have potential. Once they are taught the right skills needed, they will feel more confident about being a parent.
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