Friday, May 23, 2008

Teen Moms

Statistics Canada reports today that teenage moms and socioeconomic doom may not be a causal relationship. With the findings of these statistics, May Luong reports in her article, "Life after Teenage Motherhood":

[A]ccording to more recent research, the link between teenage childbearing and a poor socioeconomic outcome may not be causal—the probability of being a teenage mother and the probability of being disadvantaged later on may be due to having a disadvantaged family background from the start. That is, women from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to end up disadvantaged even if they delay childbearing. And while teenage childbearing continues to be a significant indicator of lower socioeconomic outcomes, the effect is smaller than originally believed.
She goes on to conclude that education is perhaps the largest determining factor is socioeconomic success of teen mothers and adult mothers alike:
Teenage childbearing has been shown to have negative and long-term effects on women’s socioeconomic outcomes. Overall, teenage mothers in Canada had a lower probability than adult mothers of completing high school and postsecondary education, even after controlling for family background and other characteristics. Teenage childbearing and education are significantly related to a woman’s labour market participation. In terms of labour force participation, the results suggest education matters more than family background—women with similar education had similar likelihoods of being in full-year full-time employment. Only women who were teenage mothers with a postsecondary education were more likely to be working full year full time during the reference year than women who were adult mothers with similar education. And although the mean wages for teenage mothers were lower than for women who were adult mothers, teenage mothers and adult mothers with similar education were almost equally likely to be living in low income. Furthermore, family background was no longer statistically significant for these mothers when it came to the likelihood of living in low income. Similar results were found for the probability of living in low income. These results suggest that education may help counter the negative effects of teenage childbearing. However, other unobserved characteristics such as family support, social network and a variety of other resources, psychological traits, and other factors may also have an influence on outcomes.

In summary, the results from this study suggest that teenage childbearing is related to lower educational achievements, which may in turn lead to longer-term effects on labour force participation and rates of living in low income. However, teenage mothers and adult mothers with similar levels of education also had similar labour market participations and rates of living in low income—suggesting that education is more important in determining labour force participation and income in the long run.


journalistbychance said...

From my own experiences I find it interesting what a stereotype the teen mom is in our society: we try to scare teens with the ghost of all teen moms. If you become pregnant you will never be able to live normally again: you will be poor and unhappy and unable to get a decent job and your children will repeat the cycle.

These stats show that with a bit of support from society that picture need not be true: that picture is a reflection of a society that is scared of female sexuality and does not want to recognize its female members as having the right to take up space...

lilith attack said...

Exactly. Thanks for visiting!