Government Programs for Teen Parents: Do They Work?
Discrimination against pregnant and parenting students became illegal in 1972 with the passage of Title IX of Educational Amendments Act. (Lee) Teen mothers continued to lag behind. “Growing evidence now suggests that the negative outcomes of teen mothering for mothers and their children are due primarily to mothers’ prior disadvantages and not young maternal age.” (Lee) Do government changes and programs actually work to help teenage mothers graduate and further their educations? Or do they focus mainly on the behavioral and psychological impact of social support programs (such as child care and parenting, counseling services, and nutritional assistance) for teenage mothers and their children?
The people most likely to end up pregnant are more likely to already be experiencing school failure, behavioral and family problems, and last but definitely not least, poverty. Teen parenting leads to less opportunity for mother and child. Less than one-third of girls under eighteen who begin families never earn their high school diplomas. Children born to teen mothers are more likely to repeat this cycle. “Teenage mothers have and increased likelihood of dropping out of school and having inadequate job skills, health risks, lower self-esteem, higher risk of unemployment, and long-term welfare dependency.” (Hong and Wellen)
Little focus has been given to repercussions of welfare use for enrollment in educational programs by teenage mothers. Focusing on the social support programs instead neglect the importance of economic support programs to help teenage mothers support themselves and their child, such as food stamps, WIC, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). (Hong and Wellen)
More than half of the teenage mothers who drop out of school never return for a high school dip...