Teenage Pregnancy Issue in the United States

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Teen pregnancy was and still is a big concern for the United States and other countries. Each year almost two hundred thirty thousand adolescent girls get pregnant in the United States alone and around seven hundred fifty thousand teen girls get pregnant worldwide. In a recent study done in two-thousand eighteen, there were almost nineteen births for every one thousand females between the ages of fifteen and nineteen recorded. This is down about seventy percent from the all-time high of around sixty-two births for every one thousand recorded in nineteen ninety one.

Although these rates may be declining year after year, the United States still has the highest number of teen pregnancies than any other country, and still lists teen pregnancies as one of their top concerns. Many teen parents are faced with numbers of serious problems because of the birth of their child at such a young age and are known as teen moms today because of past problems they were faced with.

With teen pregnancy comes many issues that teenagers could face. Teenage pregnancy has been known to cause the female to face more serious health problems than she normally would. Gayathrie Devi, Kayalvizhi and M. Poovathi, authors of the article “Study of fetomaternal outcome of teenage pregnancy in a tertiary care hospital-MGMGH,” recently did a study at a hospital over the rates of teenage pregnancy and the things that come with it. Devi and Poovathi found that in a teen girls pregnancy they are more prone to health issues such as anemia, cephalopelvic disproportion, preterm labor, and many other serious health-related complications (Devi and Poovathi 303).

Childbearing teens have also been found to be more prone to postpartum depression (PPD). Postpartum Depression, better known as PPD, is depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. Diana Reese, author of “The Mental Health of Teen Moms Matter” states, “According to a survey of 6,400 Canadian women published in the journal Pediatrics in May 2012, the highest incidence of postpartum depression occurred among girls age 15 to 19 – at a rate twice as high as PPD in moms older than 25” (Reese).

According to statistics, teenage females with poor home lives are more prone to getting pregnant in their teenage years than teens with steady home lives. One study found that oftentimes teen pregnancy is a result of the influence of their mothers and sisters. In this study done by the authors of “Teenage pregnancy: the impact of maternal adolescent childbearing and older sister’s teenage pregnancy on a younger sister,” they found that often times when a mother or older sister of a younger girl is pregnant in their teen years, they often put out to their younger sibling/daughter that teen pregnancy is an okay thing to do. The authors found that these girls with childbearing sisters or moms have the highest rate of getting pregnant as a teen also.Nickel, Roos and Wieler prove that, “Of the girls having an older sister with teenage pregnancy, 40.4 % had a teenage pregnancy. This is significantly higher than the 10.3 % teenage pregnancy rate among those not having an older sister with a teenage pregnancy” (Nickel, Roos, and Wieler 1).

Many things may contribute to the pregnancy of teenagers, but being molested or raped has been found to be one of these factors. “Two-thirds of a sample of 535 young women from the state of Washington who became pregnant as adolescents had been sexually abused: Fifty-five percent had been molested, 42 percent had been victims of attempted rape and 44 percent had been raped” (Boyer and Fine 1). This study showed that a significant amount of people became pregnant because of the mistakes of other people. Another study done by Harold Gershenson, author of the article “The Prevalence of Coercive Sexual Experience among Teenage Mothers” did a study on the currency of sexual abuse between a bunch of teen mothers and found out that over half of the teenage mothers he examined did not want to have sex and were forced into it (Gershenson).

When it comes to becoming a teenage mother the reasons why or how they became pregnant are endless. The causes for teen pregnancy range anywhere from lack of knowledge on sex education to the fact that some teens are just lonely and are facing problems such as substance abuse or low self-esteem. One analysis done within the last few years found that some teens often become pregnant because they have very poor self-esteem and often think the only way for them to feel relief is to get pregnant. Authors of “Associations of Adolescent Hopelessness and Self-Worth With Pregnancy Attempts and Pregnancy Desire,” did research and found that poor self-esteem and hopelessness is a big factor as to why some teenagers feel the need to become sexual and get pregnant. “Hopelessness reflects negative expectations about future desired or valued outcomes and helplessness with respect to one’s ability to change the odds that negative outcomes will occur” (Fedorowicz, Hellerstedt, and Bolland 133).

A huge outcome that is known to come from teenage pregnancy is dropping out of high school. Robert Altman, director of the video “Adolescent Health & Teen Pregnancy” contends that the main reason teens drop out of high school today is because of teen pregnancy (Altman). Many teen mothers dropout of high school because they feel the pressure is too much and they can not handle it with a newborn. The amount of pressure a newborn puts on a mother, teen or not is a tremendous amount. Between staying up all night and having to stay up all day, newborns tend to stress any new mother out.

“By age 22, only around 50 percent of teen mothers have received a high school diploma and only 30 percent have earned a General Education Development (GED) certificate…” (Maynard and Hoffman). The odds of a teen mother going back to school after dropping out are known to be very marginable because it is hard for one (especially a new teenage mom) to bring themselves back to going to school after dropping out. For these adolescents, the assignment of adjusting their education and a child have been proven to be unimaginable (Marshall).

Researcher Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg and her team looked into the fact that the way a teenager views adolescent pregnancy is and can be a big factor as to why they become pregnant. Cavazos-Rehg is a clinician- scientist and the author of Maternal and Child Health Journal. Patricia and her team did a study known as the National Survey of Family Growth from two-thousand-two to two-thousand-six on teenage girls aged fifteen to eighteen.

In her study they found that most girls that were more knowledgeable on the sexual health topic were less likely to be pleased with teenage pregnancy than those who were not taught about sexual health. Cavazos-Rehg states that “Sixteen percent of sexually active teenage girls (n = 164) would be pleased (11 % a little pleased, 5 % very pleased) if they became pregnant” (Cavazos 470). With this being said, over seventy percent of adolescent females agreed with the fact that it is ok for unmarried teenagers to get pregnant.

One can clearly infer that teen pregnancy still has high rates. With the number of teen pregnancies being down about seventy percent from it’s all-time high, teenage pregnancy is still a big concern for the United States today. A scarcely of the innumerable risks and causes of teenage pregnancy is shown through the studies observed. Along with teenage pregnancy can come consequential health problems such as Postpartum Depression (PPD), anemia, cephalopelvic disproportion, and may even cause them to drop out of school, not attend college, and many other things. Role models of teens could prevent the causes of teenage pregnancy by being more supportive and educational on the causes and factors of teenage pregnancy.


Cite this paper

Teenage Pregnancy Issue in the United States. (2021, Feb 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/teenage-pregnancy-issue-in-the-united-states/

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