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Adolescent Parenthood

Policy Related To Adolescent Parenting

There are several policy concerns around the economic, social, and psychological burdens of adolescent parenting for individuals and the broader society. Many adolescent parenting programs attempt to address these concerns by providing services to adolescents with the goal of decreasing the likelihood of second births, increasing self-sufficiency through vocational training, and enhancing parenting skills through parent education. Additional policy concerns focus on the provision of child support. Shirley L. Zimmerman (1992) argued that adolescent parenting must be examined in the larger context in which it occurs, because regions where there are higher poverty rates, higher unemployment rates, higher divorce rates, and low rates of school completion report higher rates of births to teens. She suggested that policy must address the forces that "give rise to high birthrates among the young, cultural norms, family instability, academic failure, and individual motivation within the context of persistent inequality and growing social isolation of the poor" (p. 428). Although the occurrence of adolescent parenthood will not completely disappear, multifaceted strategies are warranted to facilitate the transition out of poverty or at least minimize the hardships imposed by social disadvantage on adolescent parents.


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Other Resources

The Alan Guttmacher Institute. Available from http://www.agi-usa.org.

Bridges for Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and Sexuality Web Site. Available from http://www.nnh.org.

National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and Prevention. Available from http://www.noappp.org.



Additional topics

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