The current economic and social context calls for a renewed assessment of the consequences of an early transition to parenthood. In interviews with 55 teenage mothers in Colorado, we find that they are experiencing severe economic and social strains. Macroeconomic and family structure trends have resulted in deprived material circumstances, while welfare reform and other changes have reduced the availability of aid. Teenage parenthood is viewed as an important problem in U. Teenage childbearing is much more prevalent in lower socioeconomic status SES subpopulations Holcombe et al. For example, more than half of a recent nationally representative sample of children who, as infants, lived in poverty or had a mother who had not completed high school were born to women who had become mothers before age 20 Mollborn and Dennis in press.
Teenage pregnancy is a challenge for many nations, including in my home country of Jamaica, where the teenage pregnancy rate in was the fourth highest in the Caribbean, with 72 out of 1, adolescent girls becoming mothers. Poverty, limited sexual reproductive health education, and sexual abuse were factors behind that stark statistic nine years ago. This rate declined to 59 out of 1, adolescent girls in , a rate that is still far too high when compared to regional and global averages. For Jamaica, education access is often dismissed as a non-issue, particularly since gender parity and universal enrolment have been achieved. Yet teenage pregnancy is one of the main factors that prevent educational participation and completion for many girls. Yet countless studies show that education is a powerful tool that enables teenage mothers to gain personal, financial, and social empowerment — providing them with the foundation to improve their life circumstances for themselves and their children.
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Producers also go to great lengths to avoid showing them interacting outside of reunion shows. If you just watched the show you would never know that some attend their co-stars weddings and have been know to meet up on vacations and other occasions. This is likely because MTV still wants to maintain the integrity of the notion that Teen Mom is a docuseries about normal mothers who gave birth as teenagers. That time, they were all able to really connect and get to know each other. The same seems to be true for the women from Teen Mom 3 , who were particularly supportive of each other in private and on social media.