Teenage Pregnancy

Pregnant teenagers face many socioeconomic issues, which can greatly affect their quality of life and earning potential. Teenage pregnancy also affects the prospect of the children.

Effects

There are many ill effects associated with teenage pregnancy, especially in developed countries where young motherhood isn’t a part of societal norms, and girls are expected to give birth later in life. Many studies have found that teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of high school, and increasingly turn to the Government for assistance. A study of teenage mums in the UK found that only 11% earned a salary and 89% were unemployed.

As well as having an effect on the mother, children are also hugely affected by having a teenage parent. Studies have shown that children born to teenage mothers are more likely to be born prematurely with a low birth weight, leading to health complications.

Poor academic performance has also been noted in children from teenage mothers. Children of teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of secondary school, be held back grade levels and score lower in tests. It has also been noted that daughters born to teenage mothers are likely to become teenage mother themselves, and sons born to teenage mothers are three times more likely to be incarcerated.

Teenage Pregnancy Trends

There is a varying amount of teenage pregnancy around the world; culture plays a large part in determining the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in countries. The highest rate of teenage pregnancy is in sub-Saharan Africa where the rate in some countries is 143 per 1000 people. One possible reason for this high rate is that many women marry at an early age, and have many children starting from their teenage years.

In developed countries such as those in Europe and North America, teenage pregnancy has been on a sharp decline since the 1970s. Most of Western Europe has experienced a drop in fertility rate and have a very low rate of teenage pregnancy. However, the rate of teenage pregnancy in the UK is one of the highest in the developed world.

In the United States, it is a similar picture to the UK, as it has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the developed world. However, in both the UK and the US, teenage pregnancies have experienced a decline recently. In 2015, teenage pregnancies hit a record low since when records began in 1969. The US has experienced the same, where teenage pregnancies hit a record low in 2010.

There are many ill effects associated with teenage pregnancies, which greatly affect the lives of the mother and the child. Many efforts have been made to lower the rate of teenage pregnancies and these are starting to show in the developed world with substantially lowered rates.

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