Teenage Pregnancy and Divorce

The numbers between teenage pregnancy and divorce often correlate, unfortunately for those pregnant teens that get married young. According to the teenage pregnancy and divorce rates, men and women that marry as teens are more likely to get divorced than couples that are over the age of 25 at the time of marriage.

Typically the first marriage for teen women under the age of 18 are more likely to end in divorce within the first 10 years of marriage than to succeed. Add a teen pregnancy to the mix, and the likelihood of divorce taking place is even higher among those young teen marriages. The correlation between teenage pregnancy and divorce indicates that the stress of marrying so young, on top of dealing with a teen pregnancy is one of the biggest factors in causing such a young marriage to struggle and fail to succeed.

According to teenage pregnancy statistics from a study done by  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 percent of those who marry before age 18 are more likely to divorce within 10 years of marriage. There is only a 24 percent divorce rate for those who marry after the age of 24. Because marriage requires partners to be less selfish and more giving of themselves and their time, this is not the ideal personality of a teenager. Teens are notoriously self-centered and likely to look out for their own best interests. Unfortunately this way of thinking is a breeding ground for divorce in a marriage.

Teenage Pregnancy and Divorce:

There are quite a few different reasons that contribute to the high correlation between teenage pregnancy and divorce. First, it is a struggle for any couple to have their first baby. Having children is already a stressful cause to any marriage, even for those who get married at an older age. Add the maturity level of a teen or young adult trying to take care of a baby, find fiscal responsibility and maintain a successful relationship with their spouse, the combination can be extremely tumultuous.

In past decades, teens who got pregnant were encouraged to make the “responsible” decision and get married for the sake of the baby. However, in many situations the teens were not truly in love and did not know or understand what it took to make a serious relationship like marriage work on top of trying to emotionally and financially prepare for having a baby and a family. The financial stress of trying to take care of a baby, affording rent or a place to live and purchasing food and other living expenses can quickly take a toll on a young marriage.

As studies on teenage pregnancy and divorce show, teens are not fully developed in their own self-identity. They go through such a vast period of growth and change during that transition from being a teen to an adult that so much about their life, interests and expectations for the future can change, which can cause major differences between them and their spouse. Trying to handle a young infant on top of all of that is just more stress to an already stressful situation.

Prevention:

The first key in preventing too young of marriage and divorce statistics is to work toward preventing teen pregnancy in the first place. By eliminating this factor, teens are more likely to wait longer to get married until they have figured out what they are going to do post high school like go to college, get certified in some job/career area, etc. Because of this teens are more likely to succeed financially and in their futures, get married later and have a more successful marriage and family life.

Ultimately because so many schools take an abstinence-only approach to sexual education, it is important for parents to take an active role in talking to their teens about preventing unintended pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, through safe sex measures, condom use and birth control.

According to the teen pregnancy and divorce statistics from the CDC, it is also more likely to have teen pregnancy occur in families where the parents are divorced. Divorced or not, it is important for parents to continue to talk to their teens about safe sex and how to properly prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately teen moms who get married young and possibly divorce are also more likely to have their own children become pregnant as teens as well. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped through proper education from the parents.

Sources: cdc.gov, divorce360.com

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