How Are Teenage Fathers Affected by Pregnancy?

By Tamara Runzel
Teen pregnancy has an effect on teen fathers. too.

With nearly 42 births per 1,000 teens in 2006, according to the 2006 Demographics Yearbook released by the United Nations Statistics Division, the United States has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates among developed nations. Much of the focus is on teen mothers, but teen fathers are also affected.

Education

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, teen fathers are less likely to finish high school than their childless peers. Amy Williams, executive director of the Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Project in San Francisco, says in a 2005 Time magazine articles that teen fathers frequently feel they have to get a job and drop out of school to work.

Earnings

Teen fathers earn less over time than men who have children at an older age. Over time, teen fathers earn 10 to 15 percent less annually than male teens who wait to have children. according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Crime

Teen fathers are more likely to get involved with criminal behavior, including alcohol and drug abuse, and drug dealing. Depending on their age, teen fathers can also face charges of statutory rape.

Financially

Besides earning less than men who wait to father children, teen fathers are required to pay child support until the child is 18. Despite this requirement, only one in five teen mothers receives child support according the report “Adolescent Pregnancy and Childbearing in California.”

Lack of Programs

Teen fathers face a lack of teen parent programs aimed at helping them. A project coordinated by New York City’s Bank Street College of Education and appearing in Time magazine showed a high success rate in improving the father’s relationship with the child and mother at the end of the two-year program offered to teen fathers.

About the Author

Tamara Runzel has been writing military, parenting, family and relationship articles since 2008. Runzel started in television news, followed by education before deciding to be a stay at home mom. Her articles have appeared in military publications as well as numerous online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from University of the Pacific.