Departmental Papers (Sociology)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

1980

Publication Source

Adolescent Pregnancy: Perspectives for the Health Professional

Start Page

48

Last Page

76

Abstract

Contrary to popular impression, the absolute level of teenage childbearing in the United States has not risen during the past decade, but has actually declined. Moreover, the newly discovered "epidemic" of adolescent pregnancy is not recent; elevated levels of teenage childbearing can be traced to the beginning of the baby boom after the Second World War. Nevertheless, the issue does seem more pressing now than ever before. In this chapter we shall touch on some of the reasons for this issue's prominence. We shall look at the evidence in the literature on the social consequences of teenage childbearing for adolescent parents, their offspring, and members of their family of origin. After assessing this evidence, we shall briefly mention some of the policy initiatives open for us for preventing premature childbearing and for ameliorating its deleterious effects when it does occur.

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Date Posted: 12 June 2017