The high social and economic costs of teen pregnancy and childbearing can have short- and long-term negative consequences for teen parents, their children, and their community. Through recent research, it has been recognized that pregnancy and childbirth have a significant impact on educational outcomes of teen parents.
Children who are born to teen mothers also experience a wide range of problems. For example, they are more likely to:
These immediate and long-lasting effects continue for teen parents and their children even after adjusting for the factors that increased the teen’s risk for pregnancy—e.g., growing up in poverty, having parents with low levels of education, growing up in a single-parent family, and having low attachment to and performance in school.5
Teen pregnancy costs U.S. taxpayers about $11 billion per year due to increased health care and foster care, increased incarceration rates among children of teen parents, and lost tax revenue because of lower educational attainment and income among teen mothers.6 Some recent cost studies estimate that the cost may be as high as $28 billion per year or an average of $5,500 for each teen parent. The majority of this cost is associated with teens who give birth before age 18.7
Teen Pregnancy: Improving the Lives of Young People and Strengthening Communities by Reducing Teen Pregnancy (PDF, 4 pages)
This resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a snapshot of the teen pregnancy problem in the U.S., the adverse effects of teen pregnancy, as well as prevention information, including success stories.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2011; Hoffman & Maynard, 2008
2 Hoffman & Maynard, 2008
3 Covington, Peters, Sabia, & Price, 2011; Fletcher & Wolfe, 2012
4 CDC, 2011c; Hoffman & Maynard, 2008
5 CDC, 2011b
6 National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2011
7 Hoffman & Maynard, 2008
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