Adolescent childbearing and parenthood are growing phenomena in this society. The causes and consequences of teenage pregnancy and parenting are more sensitive, constructive intervention with adolescents and their families. Adolescent pregnancy represents a triple developmental crisis to young women, that of adolescent, pregnancy, and establishing a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
Physiologically the adjustments of pregnancy are superimposed on that pubescence. Psychologically and intellectually the pregnant adolescent is still developing, and it is thus difficult for her to meet the physiological demands of pregnancy.
Society has responded by developing comprehensive programs for intensive care which have reduced considerably the risks of pregnancy. Contraceptive knowledge has not totally prevented the problems of teenage pregnancy, in part because the adolescents who become pregnant are not sufficiently developed intellectually to perceive that today’s actions may prevent future consequences.
In the decade of the sixties, professionals in health care became increasingly aware that pregnancy in the adolescent years presents developmental challenges to the pregnant teen. In terms of psycho-social development, the gravid adolescent has the tasks of learning to relate to an unborn child and becoming a parent.
These tasks are superimposed on the equally difficult tasks of establishing a meaningful bond with a member of the opposite sex and struggling to become her own person intellectually, socially and emotionally. La Barre describes this as a triple crisis. The stress of early parenthood in western society can be devastatingly hard to surmount, in part because financial independence.
Adolescent pregnancy has long been a societal concern, but in the past decade, this issue has become one of the most frequently cited examples of the perceived societal decay in the United States (U.S. House of Representatives, 1996). In 1990, 1,040,000 adolescents under the age of 20 became pregnant, approximately 530,000 (51%) of whom gave birth (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1994).
Ironically, the rate of births to teenagers is much lower now than it has been throughout much of the 20th century. Between 1960 and 1985, the rate of births to female adolescents declined substantially, falling from 89.1 births per 1,000 teenagers ages 15-19 in 1960 to 51.0 in 1985.
In the late 1980s, the rate increased to a recent high of 62.1 in 1991 but then declined again in the 1990s to 56.8 births per 1,000 15-19-year- olds in 1995 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995;Ventura, Martin, Curtin, & Mathews,1997).
Most of the births to teenagers are concern treated in the later years of adolescents: Rates for 18-19-years-olds are in 1995; Ventura, Martin, Curtin, & Mathews, 1997). Most of the births to teenagers are concern treated in the later years of adolescence: Rates for 18-19-year- olds are more than double those for 15-17-year-olds.
The rates for those under 15 years of age are too low to provide detailed statistics in most repots (1.3 per 1,000 10-14-years olds in 1995; Rosenberg, Ventura, Maurer, Heuser, & Freedman, 1996; Ventura et al., 1997).
Parental Development in Adolescents
Adolescence is the stage of life between childhood and adulthood. Adolescence as a psychological concept was introduced by Stanley Hall. In 1904 he finished a voluminous, encyclopedic work, ‘ADOLEACENCE: ITS PSYCHOLOGY AND ITS RELATIONS TO PHYSIOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, SEX, CRIME, RELIGION AND EDUCATION’
He said that adolescence is a period which reveals enormous possibilities of growth, and encompasses a variety of contradictions such as hyperactivity and lassitude, happiness and depression, egotism and self-abasement, selfishness and altruism, gregariousness and shyness, sensitivity and cruelty, radicalism and conservatism.
Puberty comes at a definite point in the life of each individual, although the time varies from one individual to another. It is the stage when the sexual organs in the male and female begin to carry fertile cells, one of which can unite with a corresponding cell from the reproductive organs of a member of the opposite sex.
Psychological development in adolescent
In the stage of adolescence boys and girl are very curious to become adult. The uncertainty of the functional boundaries of adolescence is matched by an alteration of periods of life by the assumption different styles of clothing.
Earlier in the century a young girl would “put up” her hair at about the age 18 years to signify that her girlhood or adolescence was over, and the woman hood had begun. A young boy indicated his manhood by wearing long trousers for the first time.
Social attitudes to the Adolescent
Yet, still within this changing scene, there are some subtle indications of what is appropriate to children, to adolescent and to adults. Some of the social problems of adolescence are similar to those that exist in any organization when a newcomer enters and seeks the privileges of the established members.
Existing members are jealous of the traditions which they helped to create, and feel that some of the privileges which have been earned over a long period are going to be demanded by the newcomer who has not, as yet, established a right. They also feel that the newcomer want to alter or destroy that which had previously been created.
It is not possible to stop children from becoming adolescents, and adolescents from becoming adults. Antagonisms between the generations have some justification because, as a result of technical change and changes in education (for which the adult is most responsible), the young person has been brought up with a different set of values from those which the adult experienced.
The young person’s entry into adult sexual activity has its conflict in youth and in the adult community. It is frequently stated that this is a permissive age and that youth receives encouragement for protest, for aggressiveness, and for the free enjoyment of sexuality. The word “permissive” may not always be appropriate because young people do not need to ask permission.
Effect of under development of the adolescent on prenatal development
Wider social contacts become possible in adolescence, and young people have the freedom to choose their experiences and their friends outside the family circle, and sometimes outside the circles of their own school or work. They may begin to lay the foundations of friendships with members of both sexes, and some of these remain friends for the rest of their lives.
Adolescence is still a period of development, and there are still developmental needs. There is the need for acceptance, there is the need for outlets of expression of the capacity or potential in physical, intellectual and emotional fields, and there is the need for standards with which to conform or against which to rebel.
Demick, Jack. Bursik, Krisanne. DiBiase, Rosemarie. (1993). Parental Development. New Jersey, London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Pg 84
Everaerd, W. (1983). Development in Adolescence: Psychological, Social, and Biological Aspects. Springer. pg 16, 17.
Golub, Sharon. (1984). Health Care of the Female Adolescent. U.S/Canada: Haworth Press. Pg. 65, 66
Rickel, U, Annette. (1989). Psychology: Teen Pregnancy and Parenting. New York: Taylor & Francis.
Coley, Levine, Rebekah. Lansdale, Chase, Lindsay. (1998). Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenthood: Recent Evidence and future Directions. Journal