Between the late 1960s and late 1980s, research documented the lower social and economic attainment of adolescent parents. This article begins with a short review of the changing legal, social, and economic context of teenage childbearing. Since teenage mothers disproportionately come from disadvantaged backgrounds, it is not clear whether any negative effects remain associated with teenage motherhood after accounting for pre-existing circumstances of a young woman's life. The authors discuss current related research into the extent to which teenage childbearing should be considered a social problem. Recent research about the consequences of teenage childbearing for the teenage mother, the father, and for the children born is examined. The article also summarizes current knowledge about the consequences of teenage childbearing with regard to the mother's educational attainment, marital experience, subsequent fertility behavior, labor force experience and occupational attainment, and experience with poverty and welfare. Trends in marital status and employment suggest that families started by young parents, especially those lacking in education, may be more disadvantaged than comparable teen-parent families several decades ago. Though early studies almost certainly overstated the negative effects of a teenage birth, evidence documenting the adverse consequences of adolescent parenthood continue to mount. Early childbearing is linked to lower social and economic attainment, marital instability, and high welfare dependency. The children of adolescent parents tend to be at risk for poorer health, reduced cognitive development, poorer school performance, and problem behavior. References.
You are here
Consequences of Teen-Age Parenting.