During the past three decades, adolescent pregnancy has become a source of increasing social, economic, and political concern in the United States. Bearing children during adolescence has profound health and social consequences for most young parents and their children (Furstenberg, Brooks-Gunn, & Morgan, 1987; Stevens-Simon & White, 1991; Moore & Waite, 1977; Card & Wise, 1978). The results of studies conducted over the past 30 years suggest that adolescent pregnancy limits the educational achievements and the vocational opportunities of adolescent females. Additionally, it contributes to the impoverishment of one of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged segments of our society, and promotes the intergenerational transmission of poverty (Furstenberg et al., 1987; Stevens-Simon & White, 1991; Moore & Waite, 1977; Card & Wise, 1978). After an extensive review of the literature, a panel established by the National Research Council reached the following conclusion: “Women who become parents as teenagers are at greater risk of social and economic disadvantage throughout their lives than those who delay childbearing until their twenties. They are less likely to complete their education, to be employed, to earn high wages, and to be happily married, and they are more likely to have larger families and to receive welfare” (Hayes, 1987).
KeywordsFamily Planning Sexual Intercourse Adolescent Health Contraceptive Behavior Adolescent Mother
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