Teenage Pregnancy

aka Single Motherhood, Single Parent Family

appears strongly correlated with Poverty, in the US

  • maybe doesn't actually make things worse for the mother herself. Arline T. Geronimus and Sanders Korenman approached the issue by looking at families that have more than one girl. Some girls will become teen mothers and yet have sisters who do not. If teen pregnancy causes poor outcomes, then these girls should do worse than their sisters who are not teen mothers. However, the sisters of teen mothers frequently had poor life outcomes themselves. This suggested that many pregnant teens were headed towards poor outcomes even before their pregnancy.

States with highest rates: Nevada, Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas

What causes it?

  • the Discovery Channel site lists delinquency - depression - exposure to child abuse - high-risk behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol use, and drug abuse - limited job opportunities - low academic interest and achievement - poverty - previous unplanned teenage pregnancy - Sexual Abuse - Single Parent Family homes (FeedBack) - social isolation - stress - trouble in school or with the law
  • list of articles with some summaries
  • analysis of Robert Blum study says Race, income, and family structure account for only 3 percent of the variance for weapon-related violence in either age group, and for sexual intercourse among high school students. The best prediction can be made for sexual intercourse for middle school students, but even that only accounts for 10 percent of the variance... The traits that tended to be most strongly associated with substance abuse, violence, sex, and suicide were how much time kids spent "hanging out" without supervision, whether they were having problems in school, and the kinds of kids they spent time with.
  • Melissa S Kearney and Phillip B Levine: being on a low economic trajectory (Poverty) in life leads many teenage girls to have children while they are young and unmarried and that poor outcomes seen later in life (relative to teens who do not have children) are simply the continuation of the original low economic trajectory. That is, teen childbearing is explained by the low economic trajectory but is not an additional cause of later difficulties in life. Surprisingly, teen birth itself does not appear to have much direct economic consequence.".. What many teen girls from low socioeconomic status backgrounds need is a reduced prospect of marginalization, and a greater chance for personal and economic advancement.
  • some statistics and "reasons teens give for having sex" (hmm, how strongly is having sex related with having a baby?)
  • summary of risk factors from 1997 study by Michael D Resnick
  • yet another list categorized by not ranked
  • I've heard some say that poor women are increasingly avoiding permanent relationships with poor men (but having kids with them anyway).
  • Jane Fonda says The first is Poverty: about 80 percent of pregnant teens come from poor families. Next is Sexual Abuse, which must be stopped: "a girl who has been abused early in life will lose the sense of her value later on." School failure is another cause; it leads children to lose faith in themselves. The fourth reason is a lack of good parenting; on this both advocates of adolescent reproductive health and social conservatives could agree, she said. The fifth cause is a lack of reproductive health services for adolescents.
  • dumbass rich actresses having kids on their own (Jodie Foster).
  • DisEngagement from active life.

What policy changes can reduce it?

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