Several studies have examined the socioeconomic, medical, and psychological impact of pregnancy and parenthood in teens.
Life outcomes for teenage mothers and their children vary; other factors, such as poverty or social support, may be more important than the age of the mother at the birth.
Less than one third of teenage mothers receive any form of child support, vastly increasing the likelihood of turning to the government for assistance.
Risks of low birth weight, premature labor, anemia, and pre-eclampsia are connected to the biological age, being observed in teen births even after controlling for other risk factors (such as accessing prenatal care etc.).
In developed countries, teenage pregnancies are associated with social issues, including lower educational levels, poverty, and other negative life outcomes in children of teenage mothers.
This approach should include “providing age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education for all young people, investing in girls’ education, preventing child marriage, sexual violence and coercion, building gender-equitable societies by empowering girls and engaging men and boys and ensuring adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health information as well as services that welcome them and facilitate their choices.” In the United States one third of high school students reported being sexually active.
In 2011-2013 79% of females reported using birth control.
One study in 2001 found that women who gave birth during their teens completed secondary-level schooling 10–12% as often and pursued post-secondary education 14–29% as often as women who waited until age 30.
Young motherhood in an industrialized country can affect employment and social class.
The Guttmacher Institute reports that one-third of pregnant teens receive insufficient prenatal care and that their children are more likely to have health issues in childhood or be hospitalized than those born to older women.
Young mothers who are given high-quality maternity care have significantly healthier babies than those who do not.
However, in these societies, early pregnancy may combine with malnutrition and poor health care to cause medical problems.
When used in combination, educational interventions and promotion of birth control can reduce the risk of unintended teenage pregnancies.
Poor academic performance in the children of teenage mothers has also been noted, with many of the children being held back a grade level, scoring lower on standardized tests, and/or failing to graduate from secondary school.