Statement of the Problem
Adolescent childbearing has become a prominent social issue because of the broad social and personal consequences. Babies born to teen mothers are at increased risk of developing physical, social, and cognitive problems and deficiencies. Teenage mothers are at increased risk for pre-term labor and premature childbirth. They are also at increased risk of pregnancy complications, infant physical disability, and low birth weight. In many cases prenatal medical care is frequently delayed or inadequately delivered.
Not only are there personal issues, there are social issues as well. For example, adolescent mothers are less likely to receive child support from biological fathers, less likely to work, and less likely to be able to provide for themselves and children without outside assistance (Coard, 2000). It is well documented that teenage mothers do not acquire as much education as teens who delay childbearing, therefore they are less likely to find stable employment and more likely to rely on public assistance, thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty. In fact one half of teen mothers go on welfare within a year and 77% within five years of the birth of a child (Corcoran, 1999). While teenagers make up less than 8% of the welfare caseload, 43% of long-term recipients gave birth for the first time when they were 17 years old or younger (Harris, 1998). As of Spring 1999 the estimated cost of society subsidizing these births is 20 billion dollars (Kellogg, 1999).
Importance of the Problem
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.... called Journey Toward womanhood. It is a program that is grounded in the belief that by instilling a sense of pride and self-determination females will delay sexual intercourse. In 2000, Dixon, Schoonmaker, and Philliber (Dixon, 2000) took an in-depth look at the program and its effectiveness. The study was conducted on 65 African American females, 33 who had participated in the JTW training, and 32 who didn’t. They found that the training is effective, and it does help deter sex, unprotected sex, and pregnancy.
The purpose of a study done by Somers and Gleason was to study the effectiveness of the BTIO program that utilizes fake children to simulate parenthood. The sample was comprised of two samples of adolescents. They were mostly Caucasian with the first group being 9th and 10th graders and the second group being 11th and 12th graders. Each of the groups was administered the questionnaire before the BTIO training and after the BTIO training. After the program students showed positive indications of lessons learned in the training. This research provides hope that mock childrearing experiences can offer some contribution to the deterrence of teen pregnancy (Somers, 1999).
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