Upper West Records of 3,500 Teenage Pregnancies in 2020

Acting Upper West Regional Director of Health, Dr. Damian Punguyire

Over the years, a number of studies have found that the effects of teenage pregnancy on the mother, family and the nation can be devastating.

Upper West – 3,583;  Savanna – 3,516

Effects of teenage pregnancy on the child
Research indicates that children who are born to teen parents are less likely to ever reach their full potential. Researchers indicate that teen parenting is likely to hinder a child’s social and emotional wellbeing.
It has also been found that teenage mothers tend to be harsher in their parenting practices than their adult counterparts. These young girls are more prone to yelling and spanking.
Since they have fewer life experiences and coping mechanisms, it is harder for them to deal with the frustration that may arise when caring for a new baby.

Effects of teenage pregnancy on the mother
Some studies on early childhood development also indicate that teenage mothers are less likely than older mothers to engage in emotionally supportive and responsive parenting.
They tend to have less knowledge about child development and effective parenting, and often misjudge their infant or toddler’s ability to adapt and learn.
Teenage mothers are also noted to show depressive symptoms or persistent stress from other sources and this can increase the feelings of anger and resentment.
Effects of teenage pregnancy on the family
Members of the family will also have to spend lots of time and unbudgeted money towards taking care of newborn babies for their teenage mothers.
It also places social pressure on families when a baby is suddenly brought into the mix.
They now have to do with the snide comments, the sneers and innuendos of their neighbours.
Even though families get over it in the long run, the initial trauma that they go through is real.

Effects of teenage pregnancy on the nation
Teenage pregnancy does not affect the mother and her family alone; its high rate also weakens a nation’s economic conditions.
According to The Urban Child Institute, the prevalence of births to adolescent mothers negatively affects high school graduation and increases unemployment.
It is worth knowing that without a high school certificate or its equivalent, people have greater difficulty securing quality employment and have lower earning potential. This could have a domino effect in the area of crime and social vices in later years.
Also, a less educated population and unskilled workforce can negatively affect the economy and make it difficult for communities to break aggressive cycles of poverty and crime as resources are consistently depleted.
Teenage pregnancy is a serious epidemic that affects people and the nation as a whole. However, a good upbringing based on social and emotional skills will help teenagers make better choices in adulthood and decrease the probability of searching for love in the wrong places.

Source: The Finder

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