It is the general idea that the problem of teenage pregnancy negatively affects society and results in many economic problems for teenage mothers. However, according to the data gathered from the report of the National Campaign on Preventing Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the economic impact that teenage pregnancy has on mothers also negatively affects the economy of the nation as a whole. In spite of the news that the teenage pregnancy rate is dropping in such countries as the USA, it still remains one of the most significant and urgent issues in the world. Therefore, this paper seeks to analyze the impact that teenage pregnancies have on teenage mothers and the country as a whole, and prove that teenage pregnancies negatively affect their and their child’s socio-economic status.
It goes without saying that, in general, teenage mothers have lower educational attainment than other girls, as they have to spend much time raising their children. In fact, this dramatically limits their career opportunities and decreases the likelihood of their economic independency. Maynard (1997) states that, only 70% of teenage mothers graduate from high school. Only 34% of young teenage mothers even do not go to college. As a matter of fact, only 2% of them earn a degree before they are thirty years old. As teenage pregnancy affects their education opportunities, it results in significant loss of earnings, which negatively impacts their economic status.
Moreover, the Alliance for Excellent Education estimates that for a single high school dropout the USA pays $260,000 over the course of his or her lifetime. These losses are in lost earnings, productivity, and taxes. In addition, increased costs for public sector health care costs the county millions of dollars (Maynard, 1997).
A high percentage of teen mothers who drop out of their education, and do not have employment results in that the government spends more money to support them. Therefore, that is how teenage pregnancy can damage the economy (Coles, Coles & Coles, 2000).
As a matter of fact, teen mothers almost always cannot gain normal weight during the pregnancy period, which results in low birth weight of their children. This problem is often associated with childhood and infant disorders and high mortality rate among infants. Children born with low birth weight are more likely to have organs underdeveloped, which often results to respiratory distress syndrome, bleeding in the brain, and intestinal problems. Sometimes, such children are not able to receive proper health care, nutrition, and social stimulation, as all these procedures are very expensive. A lot of teenage mothers do not have medical insurance or simply cannot afford these procedures. Consequently, their children may have low brain activity and underdeveloped intellect. This will significantly affect the whole country in the future when the children grow up. Moreover, these children are more likely to be raised in poverty, to suffer from abuse and neglect, to fail in school, and to commit crimes, which also decreases their socio-economic status (Maynard, 1997).
In addition, teen mothers often face social exclusion. When a teenage girl gets to know about her pregnancy, her relationships with her friends and family can become more distant. Teenage mothers often report that they lack support and are more depressed, as compared to adolescent mothers. Having a baby in teenage age also affects the father of the baby. In such cases, he is more likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol than other fathers (Scally, 2002).
To conclude, teenage pregnancy negatively affects the socio-economic status of the mother, her family, and even the father of the child. The parent’s level of their education is low and they feel more depressed and sometimes become addicted to alcohol and drugs. The child born by teenage parents is more likely to have health problems after the delivery. Moreover, it has negative economic impact on the country as a whole.
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