Sociology Research Paper - To examine how teenage pregnancy affects the teen mothers health and the family

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“To examine how teenage pregnancy affects the teen mother’s health and the family” The researcher has chosen this topic as the researcher from observation has noticed that within the researcher’s community pregnancy in teens are affecting the teenager herself and her family likewise. Teenage pregnancy refers to pregnancy in a female under the age of 20. Lack of awareness about the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy is more often than not, a result of lack of proper communication between teenagers and their parents. Government statistics on female adolescent pregnancies indicate that the total number of annual births changed little over the preceding 10 years, but the number of teenage pregnancies rose 70 percent, from 114,205 in 1999 to 195,662 in 2009. The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely with a low birth weight, predisposing them to many other lifelong conditions. The hardships do not stop at birth for these children. The children are at higher risk and are usually plagued by intellectual, language, and socio-emotional delays.

This research seeks to examine how does teenage pregnancy affects the teen mother’s health and the family

Aim:  To investigate or find out the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy on the teen and her family health wise

  • To investigate the factors that cause teenage pregnancy.
  • The measures/strategies can be implemented to prevent teenage pregnancy?
  • To ascertain the effects of teenage pregnancy on the family

The researcher has chosen this topic as the researcher from observation has noticed that within the researcher’s community pregnancy in teens are affecting the teenager herself and her family likewise.

As the Oxford Dictionary states that Teenage pregnancy can be defined as the unintended pregnancy in a female under the age of consent.  According to the Encyclopedia of Britannica Poverty is the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. Poverty is said to exist when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs. In this context, the identification of poor people first requires a determination of what constitutes basic needs.

The Researcher found out that during adolescence, teenagers often feel pressure to make friends and fit in with their peers. Many times these teens let their friends influence their decision to have sex even when they do not fully understand the consequences associated with the act. Teenagers have sex as a way to appear cool and sophisticated, but in some cases the end result is an unplanned teen pregnancy. The Kaiser Family Foundation states that more than 29 percent of pregnant teens reported that they felt pressured to have sex, and 33 percent of pregnant teens stated that they felt that they were not ready for a sexual relationship, but proceeded anyway because they feared ridicule or rejection. Other reasons such as poverty contributes to teenage pregnancy.

Teenage pregnancy is usually a crisis for the pregnant girl and her family. Common reactions include anger, guilt, and denial. If the father is young and involved, similar reactions can occur in his family.

Adolescents who become pregnant may not seek proper medical care during their pregnancy, leading to an increased risk for medical complications. Pregnant teenagers require special understanding, medical care, and education--particularly about nutrition, infections, substance abuse, and complications of pregnancy. They also need to learn that using tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, can damage the developing fetus. All pregnant teenagers should have medical care beginning early in their pregnancy.

Pregnant teens can have many different emotional reactions:

  • some may not want their babies
  • others may view the creation of a child as an achievement and not recognize the serious responsibilities
  • some may keep a child to please another family member
  • some may want a baby to have someone to love, but not understand the amount of care the baby needs
  • depression is also common among pregnant teens

According to American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry children of teen mothers often receive fewer nutrients than needed, they don’t have proper health care and lack proper social stimulation all of that can result in the possibility of underdeveloped intellect.

The effects of teenage pregnancy are not just towards the mother and her child, theses teens are also may end up poor and having their children grow up in that state of poverty because of their financial needs.  According to the website 79 percent of teenage mothers end up on welfare because of lack of financial funding. According to the article What Are The Triggers of Teenage Pregnancy (2011)  teenagers often get misguided by peer pressure and indulged in sex, teens are bound to explore their sexuality and lack of sex education is also responsible for the rising cause of teenage pregnancy.

The risk factors of teenage pregnancy are poverty, low school performance, having a mot who gave birth as a teen. Teenage mothers usually never end up finishing school left alone a tertiary education hence the low education does not allow them to get a proper job and to take care of herself and the child resulting having mental health issues.

According to  there are health risk in teenage pregnancy such as Teenage mothers are less likely to gain adequate weight during their pregnancy, leading to low birthweight. Low birthweight is associated with several infant and childhood disorders and a higher rate of infant mortality. Low-birthweight babies are more likely to have organs that are not fully developed, which can result in complications, such as bleeding in the brain, respiratory distress syndrome, and intestinal Teenage mothers have a higher rate of poor eating habits than older women and are less likely to take recommended daily prenatal multivitamins to maintain adequate nutrition during pregnancy. Teens also are more likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or take drugs during pregnancy, which can cause health problems for the baby.

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According to Singh, S. and Darroch, J. E. (2000). Adolescent and childbearing: Levels and trends in developing countries. Family Planning Perspectives, 32, 14-23 the reason(s) why teenage women become pregnant or give birth are difficult to categorize. In the body of literature examined, It was stated that the rise in rates was due to the fact that more teenagers were sexually active, were using less contraception, or that there was an individual desire to become pregnant. The first two factors were stated by the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (1998/99 and 2000/01) which estimated that 12% ...

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