Teen parenting is a social pathology that derives from other family issues such as fatherlessness and divorce or separation. Studies have shown children in single-parent homes are more likely to become teen parents than their peers living in two-parent homes.
Statistics on teen parenting state that when children are born to teen mothers they are 50% more likely to repeat a grade, drop out of high school, and have lower scores on standardized tests. Children born to teen mothers are more likely to live in poverty which is why 50% of all teen mothers and more than 75% of unmarried teen mothers apply for welfare within five years of the birth of their first child. More than half of all mothers on welfare had their first child as a teenager.
Out of the number of teen parents, nearly 80% do not marry which correlates to the amount of children currently reliant on welfare for survival. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a study on teen parenting states that about 48% of those who get married before the age of 18 are more likely to divorce within ten years of marriage. The amount of teen parents who marry have a success rate of only 30% of remaining in the marriage.
Teen parenting has become a part of society that has attributed to fatherlessness, frustration of child visitation rights, as well as a host of social and economic issues. Teen fathers often want to be involved in their child's life but are often considered the "forgotten partner" that is replaced by the mothers relatives and welfare.
Long-term effects include lack of education of both the parents and child. Teen parents tend to leave school or not attend college, which limits their potential contributions to society and prospects for career advancement. The children of teenage parents, especially those from working class families, often face many of the same challenges as their parents. This puts a continuing cycle of strain on society, especially social welfare programs. Increased health care costs for both teen parents and their children costs the public a large amount of money, as well. Though teen parenting comes with its own set of obstacles, the focus should always remain on the best interest of the child.