Teen Pregnancy In The United States

2459 words - 10 pages

Teen Pregnancy in the United States
Introduction
Teen pregnancy falls into the category of pregnancies in girls age 19 or younger (NIH). Although statistics have shown a decrease, the number of teen pregnancy in the U.S. is still relatively high compared to the rest of the world. Sexual health is one of the top priorities in early adolescence health in the United States. Consequences of having sex at a young age generally results in unsafe sex practices. The consequences can be due to the lack of knowledge about sex education, and access to birth control/contraception (NIH, 2005). Due to the lack of knowledge and access to birth control, adolescents involve in risk taking when they start to explore sexual intimate relationships. Consequences of unsafe sexual behavior include sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy (NIH, 2005). This paper will focus on the majority aspect of pregnancy in adolescent.
Being pregnant at a young age puts adolescent mothers at a higher risk for short and long-term complications. This can be either health or social complications. Teen pregnancy not only put the mothers at risk but also put the newborns at risk for low-birth weight, premature births, and developmental delays (Strunk, 2008).
Every year, the average amount of dollars spent on teen pregnancy is about $11 billion in tax dollars. The majority of the cost goes to foster care and health care access due to the decreased incomes in teen pregnancy households. Many aspects of the adolescent mother’s life can be altered such as socially, educationally and economically (Lachance, Burrus, & Scott, 2012). Not only the mother’s life is affected but also the newborn’s life is also affected. This paper will dive into the risk factors of teen pregnancy, the complications and the effect of the social circle on sexual relationship exploration. The paper will also discuss different racial/ethnic and religion, and how these different perspectives view teenage pregnancy and birth in general. The paper will list specific interventions to educate and assist teens about pregnancy.
Risk Factors
Research done by Finer & Zolna (2014) has shown a variety of risk factors which can affect teen pregnancy. Teenage mothers who did performed poor in academic, at an economic disadvantage, have a history of sexual abused in childhood and were raised by teenage parents were more likely to have a baby at a young age. Different racial and ethnic cultures/perspectives can also affect teen pregnancy. The risk factors do not play equally in every teen pregnancy case.
Mothers who performed poor in academic and have a lower educational level can both play as risks factor in teen pregnancy. According to Finer & Zolna (2014), the percentage of pregnancies for those who are not high school graduates yet had the highest percentage of unintended pregnancies. This statistic of those who are not high school graduates yet were compared to high school graduates, some colleges, associates and college...

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