Health & Wellness © 2008
Family and Social Health
The Risks of Teen Pregnancy and Teen Parenthood
The number of teen pregnancies in the United States has been steadily decreasing since 1991, but it is still a critical problem facing our country. The effects of teen pregnancy are much more far-reaching than previously thought. Today we understand that when teens become parents they are less likely to finish school, and are more likely to live in poverty. What can you do to prevent teen pregnancy? Why is it important for you to find what will inspire you to make sure you do not become a parent before you are ready? In this WebQuest, you will learn more about the effects and serious risks of teen pregnancy and teen parenthood. You also will identify a goal or an activity that inspires you to not become a teen parent.
Your job in this WebQuest is to learn more about teen pregnancy and its effects on teenage girls, teenage boys, and the babies born to them. You will research facts about teen pregnancy and teen parenthood and read some teens' stories about their lives before and after having a child. You will need to use your internet research to answer a list of questions about teen pregnancy. Then you will write an essay explaining your anti-teen pregnancy goal, which is a purpose for avoiding teen pregnancy that you will create after exploring the internet resources below.
Before you begin your internet research, read the following questions so you are familiar with them. As you visit each site, look for answers to the questions.
Questions about the effects of teen pregnancy and teen parenthood
- Explain the generational cycle of teen pregnancy. Give three reasons why it is so common.
- Explain in detail three risks to a baby born to teen parents.
- Why is a baby born to teen parents less likely than others to graduate high school?
- Why are pregnant teens less likely to seek prenatal care than women in their twenties and thirties? How does lack prenatal care harm a baby?
- Why are teen fathers less likely to have close relationships with their children than older fathers? How does this affect the children?
- How do you think a lack of contact with his or her father affects a child's future?
- How does using alcohol and drugs increase a teen's risk of becoming a parent?
- How do hobbies, activities, and talents affect the risk of teen pregnancy?
Next, visit the Web sites to learn more about teen pregnancy and teen parenthood. To choose your reasons for anti-teen pregnancy and to write your essay, visit the Web site http://www.whatsyourantidrug.com/. This Web site gives examples of what other teens have chosen as their antidrug, which is something in their lives that is important enough to keep them from using drugs. In this exercise, you are to find your reasons for anti-teen pregnancy. This can be a hobby, a person, or an activity that inspires you to make sure you do not become a teen parent. Examples include sports, future plans, parents, and friends. Use the information you learned in your internet research to explain why you have chosen your particular reasons for anti-teen pregnancy. Be specific and give reasons why it is best to wait to have children until you are older. Be sure to give examples of what you think you would be missing in relation to your reasons for anti-teen pregnancy if you did become a parent as a teenager, and include facts that support your ideas.
1-2 weeks to research Web sites, answer questions, and write your essay
Check out this Web site to learn about the serious effects teen pregnancy has on teen parents, children of adolescents, and society in general.
Read this report by Donnica Moore, M.D., discussing the physical risks of pregnancy for a teenage girl. These risks can affect the mother's health much later in life.
Read this information from an Idaho health department about the qualities teens have that help them avoid teen pregnancy. These include having parents who help them develop a variety of interests and skills, which creates strong self-respect, confidence, and resiliency.
Play this game to see how much you know about the costs of having a baby.
Visit this March of Dimes fact sheet for statistics on teen pregnancy and the risks for teen mothers and their babies.
Read about the state of Florida's TAPP (Teenage Parent Program) plan, which provides teen mothers with the support, guidance, and resources needed to earn a high school diploma while learning to care for their young children. TAPP provides classes in parenting skills, health and social services, childcare, and transportation for the teen mothers. Consider why the state of Florida would organize and run such a comprehensive program to help teen mothers.
Read this report from the Democratic Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to learn more about the statistical link between teen parents, poverty, and single-parent households.
Take this quiz, which focuses on a teen's risk of becoming a parent. It is intended for parents to judge their relationships with their teens, but you can take it with your own behavior in mind. Consider what you and your parents could do to change the results of the quiz.
This fact sheet created by DrugStory.org shows the dangerous relationship between teen substance abuse and risky sexual behavior.
In the process of completing this WebQuest, you have researched the facts about how risky teen pregnancy is for teen mothers, teen fathers, their babies, and the society that often must support them. By searching the resource Web sites and using the information you have learned to answer the WebQuest questions, you have begun to understand the risks of the faulty thinking that says teen sex and teen pregnancy are no big deal. By creating your own anti-teen pregnancy goal, you can recognize that your plans for the future are worth going after, and teen pregnancy and parenthood are definitely not worth the risks.