How Social Welfare Encourages Teen Pregnancy
An overview of teen pregnancy in the United States today that examines the impact of social welfare programs on encouraging and maintaining the high rate of teen pregnancies.
# 47519 | 2,909 words | 10 sources | APA | 2002 |
Published on Feb 09, 2004 in Child, Youth Issues (Teen, Adult Issues) , Hot Topics (Abortion) , Women Studies (General)
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While the pundits debate on the best way to educate young people about the risks associated with early pregnancies, tens of thousands of babies in the United States will continue to suffer from the physical and emotional problems associated with early teen pregnancies; the social welfare system appears to be contributing to this phenomenon. This paper provides an overview of teen pregnancy in the United States today and examines the impact of social welfare programs on encouraging and maintaining the high rate of teen pregnancies. A summary of the research is provided in the conclusion.
From the Paper:"Almost 80 percent of teen mothers eventually go on welfare which comprise more than 59 percent of the social welfare caseload. In fact, more than 75 percent of all unmarried teen mothers received welfare within five years of giving birth to their first child. The data for 1995 shows that 69 percent of births to teens in a five-year period were paid for by Medicaid or other government sources ("Adolescent Pregnancy and Childbearing in the U.S.," 2001, 10). Teen pregnancies have also been associated with reduced educational attainment and employment opportunities. The research shows that less than one-third of teens who begin their families before age 18 ever complete high school. When compared to children born to women aged 20 and older, babies born to mothers aged 15-17 have poorer health, lower cognitive development, reduced educational attainments, and higher rates of behavior problems ("Adolescent Pregnancy and Childbearing in the U.S.," 2001, 10-11). Although the teen pregnancy rate (the number of pregnancies per 1,000 teenage women) decreased to 101 in 1995 (the lowest level since 1975), nevertheless each year nearly one million American teenage women become pregnant, and four out of ten American teenage women become pregnant before the age of 20. During this same period, the outcome of teenage pregnancies has changed. Sixty-three percent of pregnant teenagers gave birth and 22 percent had abortions in 1995 compared to 1983 data which shows that 47 percent of teenagers gave birth and 43 percent had abortions ("Adolescent Pregnancy and Childbearing in the U.S.," 2001, 2). The vast majority of teens who give birth prefer to keep their babies; in fact, fewer than 10 percent of teenagers who delivered babies chose adoption in 1995."
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