According to a recent Canadian study, the impact of teenage motherhood multi-generational. Pointedly, social skills, language, and cognitive development have revealed to be negatively affected in children with mothers or grandmothers who gave birth while in their teens.
Fundamentally, the results focus exclusively on school readiness scores. The findings are candid - a greater percentage (36%) of children whose grandmothers had been adolescent mothers were not ready for school than children whose grandmothers were 20 or older at the birth of their first child (31%).
Teenage motherhood has such a monumental impact on childhood development that it was shown to affect the woman’s grandchildren decades later, substantiating that even if a child’s mother was older - a correlation still exists. The odds were 39 percent greater of not being ready for school in comparison with kids whose moms and grandmothers were both at least 20 at the birth of their first child, according to the report analyzed.
Compared with children whose grandmothers were 20 or older at the birth of their first child, a greater percentage of children whose grandmothers had been teen moms were not ready for school, the study found.
Alex McKay, research coordinator with the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada states, "Young women who feel optimistic about their futures with respect to access to education and career tend not to get pregnant. Young women who are starting to feel discouraged about their employment and education opportunities are more likely to get pregnant. That is a straightforward correlation that persists, wherever in the Western world you go." Furthermore, concluding that teen pregnancy is more entirely about the sexuality of these young girls is unjustified. In some respects it is, but it's also an indicator of much larger and fundamental transformations within a country," said McKay.
The study funded by the University of Manitoba was published February 6th, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Elizabeth Wall-Wieler of Stanford University, USA, and colleagues at the University of Manitoba. Most likely this study will lead the path to evaluate which children will be more likely to fall behind in school.
As for what needs to be done? “When identifying children who may benefit from additional resources to ensure they have they are ready to start school when they enter kindergarten, we should look beyond risk factors in the child’s immediate family and environments,” said Wall-Wieler. Furthermore, it’s recommended that interventions to improve outcomes for kids born to teen moms be extended to the grandchildren of adolescent mothers.