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Teenage Pregnancy And Female Educational Underachievement

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This article discusses how teenage pregnancy and its effects on woman and their offspring has become a growing concern over the last few years. Studies have shown that teenage pregnancies are more common amongst school dropouts, because upon becoming pregnant, young women are likely to withdraw from education or at least reduce their commitment to continued education.

As compared with girls who have become pregnant during their teenage years and later dropped out of school, the rates of younger woman who become pregnant and then drop out are higher. Also, in contrast with women who do not become pregnant early, studies have shown that teenage mothers are more likely to experience a large variety of personal and social disadvantages such as early school leaving, educational underachievement, socioeconomic disadvantages, welfare dependence, single parenthood and marital instability.

Two possible explanations have been given to account for the poor educational levels and limited opportunities for teenage mothers. The first study suggests that early motherhood disrupts the educational process of girls and ultimately limits their future educational growth and employment prospective. In response to prevent lack of education, schools have provided services to teenage mothers and in the United States welfare is also provided teenage mothers trying to continue their education. The second study explains that under-achievement in education and teenage pregnancies are non-casual, and arise from selection processes linked with teenage pregnancy risk. This implies that teenage pregnancy is a selective process found more in young women from socially disadvantages backgrounds and young woman with a history of onset conduct problems.

A study carried by various researchers including Klepinger on 2,795 woman concluded that young women who gave birth to their first child before the age of 20 years completed fewer years of schooling than young women who did not give



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