Essay by samgracesmomCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 2004

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Teenage pregnancy is a social problem that affects the entire community. It is important to examine the causes of this problem, the effects the problem has on our society and the individual, and some of the possible ways of combating this problem. In every city in the United States teenage girls and boys face premature parenthood. If they chose to accept the responsibility of their actions and not opt for either abortion or adoption, they have to grow up quickly in order to face many harsh realities--these can include early marriage, health risks, interrupted education, lack of employment skills, and, usually, inevitable poverty. Teenage parents are very likely to become dependent on either their families for financial help or the welfare system, and to remain dependent for many years. The emotional devastation on these young people can lead to life-long scars.

Teen pregnancy is a problem that not only affects individuals, but society as a whole.

It is important to understand the psychological effects of becoming pregnant at such a young age. The teenage years are acknowledged to already produce emotional turmoil in adolescents; it is therefore difficult to imagine the added stress of an unplanned and often unwanted pregnancy. Just as there are many physical changes during pregnancy, there are also many psychological changes as well. Depression and denial are the first emotional state that most pregnant girls experience. Many initially refuse to accept the reality of the situation, or are overwhelmed by the enormous decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy, keep the child, or give it up for adoption after it is born. Panic and desperation can become all-consuming at this point and some teens may try to terminate their own pregnancy or even to inflict harm on themselves. There are thousands of pregnant teens who commit,