The study indicated that children born to teenagers aged below 15 are twice as likely to be an indicated case of child neglect or child abuse in the first five years of their lives as compared to the children who are born to mothers between the ages of 20 and 21 Fergusson & Woodward, 2000()
Another separate study found that the living standards and the situation at home for the teenage mothers was the most predictive variable for maltreatment of the children. Teenage mothers who are living with an adult are less likely to neglect or abuse their children as compared to those who are bringing up their children on their own.
Children of teenage mothers are at a higher risk of getting problems that affect regulation which includes both aggressive behavior and flattened affect. The children who are born to teenage mothers also suffer from poor cognitive development. This was shown by a study which showed that children born to teenage mothers scored poorly in tests of their cognitive ability as compared to children of older parents. The children of teenage parents were also not likely to be seen as their teachers as having improved in their performance by the time they get to high school level Brien, Loya, & Pepper, 2002.
This indicates a strong need to counsel teenage parents in order to try to avert these problems of cognitive development for their children which can be seen to be long-lasting.
At the high school level, it was found out that children born to teenage mothers were more likely to drop out of high school as compared to children born to older parents Adler, Bates, & Merdinger, 1985.
The study found that only 77% of the children who are born to teenage mothers complete their high school education as compared to 89% for the children of mothers aged between 20 and 21 years Fergusson & Woodward, 2000()
Looking at the incarceration rates of children of teenage mothers, the study revealed that 10.3% of sons born to mothers aged below 17 years were incarcerated during their teenage years as compared to 3.8% of the sons born to mothers who are older than 17. This shows that the sons of teenage mothers are three times more likely to get incarcerated than those who are born to teen-mothers Fergusson & Woodward, 2000()
Looking at these figures and statistics, it is important that counseling of these teenage mothers needs to be conducted in order to help them steer away from the factors that may led to preterm births or low birth weight babies as well as to be encouraged to go for prenatal care and for them to know how to handle the situation as parents and not go for abortions. Counseling also helps them to learn about rearing their children and how to fend for them. Counseling needs to be done in order to stop the vicious cycle that is likely to develop as a result of teenage parenting. This vicious cycle stems from the intergenerational cycle of teenage parenting and since the children of teenage parents they are usually more susceptible to economic dependence than their mothers and they are less likely to escape from the jaws of poverty. This can be attributed to these daughters not having an early start in life and them being brought up in a poor neighborhood with poor health and low levels of education.
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