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Adolescent Parenthood

Adolescent Fathers

For adolescent fathers, much of their stress involves vocational/educational issues, interpersonal relationships, health, and concern over future parenting competence. Like adolescent mothers, fathers obtain less education and, thus, have lower long-term labor market and earning potential than their counterparts who delay fathering. Whether these deficits predate the pregnancy or are a result of the pregnancy (e.g., drop out of school to provide support), these young fathers are generally disadvantaged.

The involvement of fathers with their children is higher than expected, at least in the first few years. Research shows that almost half of young nonresident fathers visit their children weekly, and almost 25 percent have daily contact. However, contact with the child typically diminishes over time, such that fewer than 25 percent see their school-age children weekly. Lack of contact is related to economic status; those fathers with more resources (e.g., education, income) are more involved. Financial support follows a similar pattern, although when support is provided, it is often modest. Estimates project that U.S. fathers who do not marry the adolescent mothers have incomes sufficient to expect them to contribute support at a level that would offset as much as 40 to 50 percent of welfare costs (Maynard 1997).

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & ParenthoodAdolescent Parenthood - Trends In The United States, International Trends, Antecedents Of Adolescent Pregnancy, Adoption, Marriage, And Single Parenthood