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Teen Pregnancy Overview:
For most young women, teen pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted at conception. Approximately 75% of teen pregnancies are unintended. Pregnancy occurs because many adolescents fail to recognize their vulnerability as a result of their sexual activity​​ and believe that pregnancy cannot happen to them. Adolescents tend to have a high rate of sexual activity and low incidence of consistent contraceptive use. Increased abstinence and more effective contraceptive practices have helped bring about recent declines in adolescent pregnancy. Some risk pregnancy and parenthood as a mean of gaining or maintaining a love relationship. Others may see it as a way to gain independence. Teen pregnancy is higher in the U.S. than in any other developed country. (Added by Chanel Raines)

The Facts & Statistics:
Provided by: Planned Parenthood

Teenage Pregnancy Statistics in the United States
  • Despite the declines in teen pregnancy rates each year, 34% of American teens still experience pregnancy
  • About 34% of American women become pregnant before the age of 20
  • In the year 2000: 840,000 U.S. teens became pregnant, and of those pregnancies, 56% resulted in birth, 28% resulted in abortion and 15% resulted in miscarriage
  • Teenage girls with partners older in age are more likely to become pregnant that teenage girls with partners their own age
  • About 74-95% of all teenage pregnancies are unintended; these account for a quarter of all accidental pregnancies in the U.S. each year
Teenage Pregnancy Statistics in the U.S. Compared to Other Countries
  • The U.S. teenage birthrate is the highest in the developed world
    • 2.5 times as high as Australia
    • More than 2.5 times as high as Canada
    • More than 3 times as high as Germany
    • About 5 times as high as France
    • 7 times as high as Japan
    • 7.5 times as high as the Netherlands
  • In 2003, 10% of all U.S. pregnancies were by teens
  • 82% of births were to unmarried teens
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Teenage Childbearing and Pregnancy
  • In general, teenage mothers do not fare as well as their peers who wait to have children
    • Their family incomes are lower
    • They are more likely to become poor and receive welfare
    • They are less educated
    • They are less likely to be married
    • Their children lag in standards of early development
The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy on the Parents
  • In 2002, only 10% of teenage mothers aged 15-17 had graduated from high school
  • After giving birth it is estimated that only 33% of teenage mothers will eventually graduate from high school and only 1.5% will receive a college degree by age 30
  • Although not as severe as the effects on teen mothers, early childbearing affects the fathers of children born of teen mothers as well. They are more likely to participate in deliquent behaviors such as drug dealing, drug using, alcohol abuse and are more likely to complete fewer years of education than their peers

The Effects of Teenage Pregnancy on the Children
  • The effects of teen preganancy have the most effect on the children
  • Children of teen pregnancies are more likely to not receive the proper prenatal care because of financial difficulties of the mother and/or the father, therefore are more likely to become hospitalized for poor nutrition, low birth weight, and other childhood health problems
  • The offspring of teenage mothers are more likely to be poor, abused and neglected than those of women who delay childbearing, and they are also less likely to receive the proper nutrition, health care, coginitive and social stimulation
  • Children born to teen mothers are also more likely to have greater risk of intellectual and academic achievement and social behavioral problems
  • Children born to teen mothers are also more likely to be incarcarated, not finish high school, be unemployed and also are likely to become teen parents themselves
(Added By Leah Payne)


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Increase in Teen Pregnancy in America since 2006.
(Added by Leah Payne)

Infants of teenage mothers have an increased risk of two major complications: prematurity & low birth weight. The cause of birth weight less than 2500g or 5.5lbs may be intrauterine growth restriction. This may result from a variety of causes, such as poor placental perfusion, which occurs in preeclampsia, or the underdeveloped vasculature of the uterus in young primigravidas.

Adolescents are still striving to achieve their own developmental milestones which can further complicate their adjustment to parenthood. Many are still in egocentrism, which interferes with their ability to defer personal satisfaction to respond to the needs of the infant.
(Added by Vici) Page 594, Murray

Factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy:
-high rate of sexual activity
-lack of accurate information about how to use contraceptives correctly
-limited access to contraceptive devices
-incorrect or lack of use of contraceptives
-fear of reporting sexual activity to parents
-ambivalence toward sexuality
-feelings of invicibility
-peer pressure to begin sexual activity
-low self-esteem and consequent inability to set limits on sexual activity
-means to attain love or escape present situation
-lack of appropriate role models (added by Sheila) Murray pg. 590