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ERIC Number: ED409389
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Kids Having Kids. A Special Report on the Costs of Adolescent Childbearing.
Maynard, Rebecca A., Ed.
This report represents a synthesis of research conducted on the consequences of adolescent childbearing for adolescent mothers, their children, the fathers of their children, and the United States. Each year, nearly one million teenagers in the United States become pregnant. About one-third of these 15- to 19-year-old females abort their pregnancies, 14% miscarry, and 52% have their children, 72% of them out of wedlock. The public focus on adolescent childbearing has been fueled by high and rising child poverty rates, an increase in the number of welfare recipients, and an increase in welfare recipients with a long average duration of dependency. The children of adolescent mothers face health and cognitive disadvantages and are more likely to be abused. They are less likely than their peers to grow up in families with fathers, and they are more likely to enter foster care, have trouble in school, drop out of school, or become adolescent parents themselves. Adolescent mothers themselves face poor life prospects. Seven of 10 drop out of high school, and their earnings average less than half of the poverty level. While boys are one-third as likely as girls to become adolescent parents, they also are less likely to finish high school and they are less well-prepared to contribute to their children's support. After looking at five important dimensions of the problem, researchers have concluded that adolescent childbearing costs the country's taxpayers $6.9 billion each year through higher public assistance and medical care costs and the costs of foster care and the justice system that can be linked to adolescent childbearing. A loss in national productivity is a cost to the nation that is difficult to quantify. This report focuses on young women who have their first child at the age of 17 or younger, but there are many adverse consequences, even though more modest, for older teens who have children. (Contains 12 graphs.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Robin Hood Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Catalyst Inst., New York, NY.