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ERIC Number: ED510659
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Diploma Attainment among Teen Mothers. Fact Sheet. Publication #2010-01
Perper, Kate; Peterson, Kristen; Manlove, Jennifer
Child Trends
Recently released government data show that in 2006, the U.S. teen birth rate began to increase, marking the end of a 14-year period of decline. More specifically, these data show that between 2005 and 2007, the teen birth rate climbed five percent. This trend reversal is a cause for concern, given the negative consequences of teen childbearing for the mothers involved and for their children especially. For example, research indicates that children of teen mothers fare worse on cognitive and behavioral outcomes than do their peers with older mothers. Teen mothers are more likely than older mothers to be dependent on public assistance after giving birth and to experience turbulence in their family structures--even taking into account the fact that teen mothers tend to be from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, teen mothers are at a particularly high risk of dropping out of school, although previous research has found that they are more likely to be having problems in school prior to their pregnancy. In light of teen mothers' heightened risk of becoming high school dropouts, Child Trends used recently released national survey data to explore high school diploma and GED attainment among women who had given birth as teens. Particularly, we looked at whether they had earned these educational credentials by the time that they reached their early twenties. Our findings show that slightly more than one-half of young women who had been teen mothers received a high school diploma by the age of 22, compared with 89 percent of young women who had not given birth during their teen years. Furthermore, results of our analyses show that young women who had a child before the age of 18 were even less likely than were those who had a child when they were 18 or 19 to earn a high school diploma before the age of 22, although the rates of GED attainment in the former group were slightly higher. We also found differences in educational attainment among teen mothers by race/ethnicity. (Contains 4 figures.)
Child Trends. 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 350, Washington, DC 20008. Tel: 202-572-6000; Fax: 202-362-8420; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Child Trends
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests