Teenage Childbearing as a Public Issue and Private Concern

Annual Review of Sociology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 08/2003; 29(1):23-39. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100205

ABSTRACT Key Words family change, public policy s Abstract Teenage childbearing has been a topic of sociological research, public discourse, and political discussion since the mid-1960s. It is surprising that the intensity and topics of the discussion over this period have corresponded poorly with research on the rates and consequences of teenage childbearing. This essay chronicles the history of the issue of early childbearing and my contributions to this field of study.

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    • "Children from poverty disproportionately join the early-family-formation group, while children from homes with adequate incomes are more likely to invest in completing post-secondary education (Furstenberg, 2003; Kerckhoff, 1993). These differences reflect disparities in the opportunity structures of society. "
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    • "As Kelly (1996) notes, however, " the discourses do not compete as equals; some carry little weight and are marginalized, whereas others are considered authoritative and dominant " (423). While academics were once considered the authoritative experts on the topic of teenage childbearing, they are increasingly no longer so, as their research, if presented at all, is often juxtaposed by conservative pundits or researchers who continue to claim the devastating effects of teen childbearing on young women, their families, and society at large (Furstenberg 2003; 2007; Kelly 1996). In fact, as Furstenberg (2007) documents, the press often actively ignore the most significant conclusions of academic reports if those conclusions present a different narrative than the traditional one which insists that teen childbearing ruins lives and communities. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is a generally accepted finding in the sociological literature as well as in public discourse that adolescent mothers are less likely than their non-parenting counterparts to graduate high school and to attend college. For several decades, however, researchers have pointed out that the implied causal process from teen motherhood to academic failure has been largely unsupported by empirical research. In fact, scholars have recently argued that motherhood may actually serve as a positive turning point in the lives of young women. Using a sample of young African American women, the present study assesses the degree to which teen motherhood not only affects college aspirations but also expectations. Further, it tests the ability of these effects to explain the well-known educational attainment gap between teen mothers and their non-childbearing peers. Results indicate that, in general, young mothers' college aspirations are similar to those of non-mothers, but that their generally high aspirations for academic success appear to be effectively countered by their decreased educational expectations.
    Gender and Education 12/2012; 24(7):745-763. DOI:10.1080/09540253.2012.712097 · 0.46 Impact Factor
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    • "For example, Pogarsky and his colleagues [38] reported that the sons of teenage mothers in the Rochester Youth Development Study were at greater risk of drug use, but not the daughters. Many offspring of teenage mothers are resilient, however, and do not develop substance abuse problems [39] [40]. More research is needed to identify early determinants of risk for adolescent substance use in these high-risk offspring, including childhood DP. e data for this study are from the Teen Mother Study, a prospective study of teenage mothers and their children. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Offspring of teenage mothers are at greater risk of early drug use. Research has identified a child behavior checklist (CBCL) profile for children with high levels of comorbid behavior problems, the dysregulation profile (DP), as another risk factor for drug use. Method. Teenage girls (12–18 years old; 71% African-American, 29% White) were recruited during pregnancy. Data were collected during pregnancy and when offspring were 6, 10, and 14 years old ( 𝑛 = 3 1 8 ). Mothers completed the CBCL when children were at ages 6 and 10, and children who scored 60 or higher on all 3 DP subscales (aggression, anxiety/depression, and attention problems) were categorized as dysregulated. At ages 10 and 14, the offspring (50% male, 50% female) reported on their cannabis use and completed the childhood depression inventory (CDI). Results. DP at age 6 and depressive symptoms at age 14 predicted recent cannabis use in the offspring. There was a significant interaction between race and pubertal timing such that White offspring who matured earlier were at greater risk of recent cannabis use. Conclusions. The results of this study suggest that it may be possible to identify a subset of children at risk of dual diagnosis as early as age 6.
    11/2012; 2013(4). DOI:10.1155/2013/659313
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