ERIC Number: ED316615
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Teenage Pregnancy and Drug Abuse: Sources of Problem Behaviors. ERIC/CUE Digest No. 58.
Bempechat, Janine; And Others
Drug and alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancy are two behaviors manifested by at-risk children that are both a cause and a result of their lack of success in school and possible subsequent dropping out. The distinction between substance use and abuse may be determined using the following criteria: (1) age of onset; (2) physiological responses; (3) levels of dependence; (4) attitudes about substance use; and (5) effects on other areas of functioning. The following factors predict drug and alcohol experimentation: (1) parental drug use, absence, and lack of consistent parenting; (2) early antisocial behavior; (3) school problems; (4) peer drug use; (5) attitudes, beliefs, and personality traits; and (6) stress. Teen pregnancy has become a national epidemic because more teenagers keep and raise their children at great individual, family, and societal costs. While the national average age of first sexual intercourse is 16 years, the average age for initiating sexual activity for some groups of urban youth is as young as 11.6 years. Disadvantaged minority youth account for a disproportionate number of teen pregnancies and births. The following factors influence early pregnancy and parenthood: (1) expectations for the future; (2) poor academic achievement; (3) ignorance about reproduction; and (4) family influences. Teenage childbearing has serious negative effects on the mother and on the child's health, as well as on the educational attainment and employment of both parents. A list of 12 references is appended. (FMW)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Alcohol Abuse, Antisocial Behavior, Disadvantaged Youth, Dropout Characteristics, Drug Abuse, Early Parenthood, High Risk Students, Literature Reviews, Predictor Variables, Pregnancy, Secondary Education, Substance Abuse, Youth Problems
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Teachers College, Box 40, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.