Abstract: The purpose for this research paper is to address the adolescent pregnant teen & father and the effects a pregnancy has on both of their lives during and after her pregnancy. How the teens need the support of the family, community, church, and the school system. I will also address the teen father mostly disregarded in any aspect of the teen’s pregnancy and how this affects him, and how both teens need support in our society. How we can address the social problem of teen pregnancy from all avenues.
‘Three issues that have an impact on the pregnant adolescent are discussed education, identity development, and maternal support’ (Turnage & Pharris, 2013). My research focuses on adolescent pregnant teen women 19 years old and younger. It will also reflect the problems of the teen pregnant adolescents journeying thru the process of becoming a teen mother, finishing high school, developing her own identity and the maternal support she gets from her mother during her transition from pregnant teen to motherhood.
‘Several issues that differently influence the pregnant teen is individually based on the female’s chronological age’ (Turnage & Pharris, 2013). ‘For the pregnant adolescent, her pregnancy supersedes high school graduation as the benchmark for her being viewed as an adult’ (Turnage & Pharris, 2013). ‘Failure to graduate high school is associated with poor social and educational outcomes for teen mothers and their children’ (Turnage & Pharris, 2013).
‘While the pregnant adolescent is defining who she is as a person she experiences a transition to the new identity of mother’ (Turnage & Pharris, 2013). ‘During her pregnancy the adolescent’s mother is seen as the primary source of support that contributes to a positive self-image and can assist her in the adapting to the role of parent’ (Turnage & Pharris, 2013).
My research paper will also show how important it is to support the teen during and after pregnancy. It addresses the need for the teen mothers to finish high school, and find her identity. How important it is to have the support system of her mother and family to achieve all of these things. Without these support systems, the pregnant adolescent could end up in poverty, no social skills, homeless and a host of other social problems for her and her baby.
Addressed and examined is teen motherhood and its long-term mental and physical health of the teen mother’ (Patel & Sen, 2012). They used a (PCS) health survey known as SF-12 NLSY79 a study that compared two major comparisons groups of which only teens who experienced teen pregnancy and girls who did not experience teen pregnancy. On average the survey for teen mothers was on average 50.89.
The study to access the health outcome of ‘two major comparison groups, which consisted of women who were only experienced teen pregnancy & women who were having unprotected sexual relation as a teen but did not become pregnant ‘ (Patel & Sen, 2012). Estimated is that teen mothers are more likely to have poor health later in life in the study of all the comparison groups.
Along with support, they desperately need help taking care of an infant as a teen; they need a support system to take notice of how they are managing their health & well-being so that they can be a successful teen parent. In addition, being a teen parent can affect the mother’s mentally as the pressure of being new teen mom can be stressful.
The teen mothers who marry after they give birth to their children statistics state that 30 % of them will not remain in their marriages into their 40’s. This result comes from teen adolescents in a single parent home raising their child. This can put a strain on the teen adolescent because she will financially have to seek support from her family or enter into the welfare system and suffer mental health issues.
‘Adolescent teen mothers identify social support with, parenting and emotional support primary emanating from family members, particularly their own mothers, as well as from the father of the baby (Savio Beers & Lee, 2009)’. ‘Older sisters may play an important role in the support network for adolescent mothers, the supportive sister relationships decrease depressive and anxiety-related symptoms in adolescent mothers (Savio Beers & Lee, 2009).
‘For some adolescent parents, participation in a religious community programs may provide the significant social support and serve as a protective factor’ (Savio Beers & Lee, 2009). This directly stresses the point that without the support of family, community, and church with the support of the father the adolescent teen mother can suffer mental issues, poverty issues, and marriage problems.
We addressed the many issues that teen mothers have to face, so now I would like to address the teen father in our society. What are their concerns on becoming a teen father, and how do they view their role as father where their masculinity is concerned? While most of the research done on teen pregnancy and parenting mainly focusing on the mother, the father is invisible.
Interviewed were 26 young teen fathers in the mid-western American towns. The in depth survey of three themes of gender discord focused on teen father narratives, which took on responsibility, sex, being a man, this is the direct viewpoint of the invisible teen father. What they feel about getting a teen girl pregnant and what responsibility they take in the pregnancy if any. How they relate to getting a teen pregnant and how that affects his identity as a man and their masculinity.
‘Gendered assumptions regarding pregnancy and contraception’specifically that women are in charge of preventing pregnancy and they have the belief that male sexuality is uncontrollable; and that use of love and intimacy talk (Weber, J. B., 2013). The teen fathers that took the questionnaire did not blame themselves for getting the teen girl pregnant. They see the teen’s pregnancy as her problem.
Studies suggest that teen fathers are more likely to be of a minority race. He has a mother who had a baby as a teen; his parents have a minimal education. His parents do not have high expectations of him finishing school; all of these factors result in the likelihood that makes him a candidate to becoming a teenage father. ‘The research states that the teen fathers go to school fewer years less than non-teenage fathers (Fletcher & Wolfe, 2011).
‘Evidence shows that men who have children before marriage leave school earlier and have worse labor markets outcomes’ (Fletcher & Wolfe, 2011). ‘Data was used only on young men who reported a pregnancy as an adolescent’ (Fletcher & Wolfe, 2011). It affects his completion of high school.
It also affects his ability to take care of the teen mother & baby, which causes him to drop out of school early. Statistically, ‘teen fathers work more hours and earn more money following the birth of a child then his non-parent counterparts’ (Fletcher & Wolfe, 2011). Teen fatherhood results in the teen father getting married early or co-habitation with the teen mother.
In conclusion, teen pregnancy is a social problem in the United States both teens will have to suffer in their education, grow up before their time, take on adult responsibilities, and suffer financial problems to take care of the child. Which ultimately falls on the parents of the teens, society or the welfare system in which the teen mother becomes a social statistic or shall I say a number.
Teen pregnancy as of 2014 have been on the decline in the United States and increased in other states, however a positive support system for both teens is minimal at best. Socially as communities, churches and government we have to take an active role in education of abstaining from sex, talking to the teens about sex, and protecting themselves against pregnancy.