Teen Pregnancy Effects On The United States

1922 Words Nov 13th, 2014 8 Pages
Adolescent pregnancy is a widely researched and debated topic in psychology. Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have dropped significantly over the last two decades from 6.2% in 1990 to 2.7% in 2013, a 56% decrease, for women aged 15-19. Despite the sharp decline, concerns about the consequences of adolescent childbearing have not decreased.
While evidence suggests that giving birth as a teenager is often associated with economic hardships, numerous researchers argue that these hardships were in place before the pregnancy and that the birth of the baby itself does not have a significant negative impact on the socioeconomic status (SES) on the adolescent mother. While women who give birth as teenagers are more likely to live in poverty, be single, and never finish high school, it is not the pregnancy itself that produced these consequences, but rather it is a number of outside factors that contribute to both the teen pregnancy and these negative outcomes. Not surprisingly, girls from disadvantaged backgrounds are far more likely to become teen mothers compared to girls from more advantaged backgrounds. According to Kearney and Levine, this trend is due to young and disadvantaged girls’ response of “dropping out” from the “economic mainstream” due to actual and perceived economic immobility (lack of confidence in their own economic advancement).
The fact that evidence suggests that the poor outcomes seen later in the lives of teen mothers are merely…
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