American society is facing many problems; among them one major problem is teenage pregnancy. In the America about 75,000 girls of the ages 15-19 become pregnant every year (Kost and Henshaw). Among them, about 82% of the pregnancies are, however, unplanned (Frost). Further, the psychological effects of such pregnancies can be severe. Most of these psychological effects are cyclical as well as related. This can be justified by the fact that in the population living in lower socioeconomic class set-up, they are less concerned about becoming pregnant in the teenage. This is because they are trapped in the lower socioeconomic status and they are usually the dropouts of the education, having fewer employment opportunities. Even there are girls that have low self esteem, and they consider that they will improve the self esteem by giving birth to a baby.
However, there are girls that are not willing or prepared for accepting the responsibility and they become stressed and psychologically overwhelmed. This paves the way to the problems of the self-esteem. There are several other psychological problems that are associated with the teen pregnancy and these can be interwoven and cyclical, so the problem of the teen problem is considered as the complex problem in order to address or discuss. Above half of the teenage pregnancies, however, carry on to the process of birth, and most of the pregnant girls in teenage become mothers, who are usually not prepared for this change in the life, for a life full of responsibilities. Further, they are not emotionally prepared for the birth of a child as well as not ready to accept the reality and duties of being a mother. So, such mothers experience anxiety, feeling of failure, depression and resentment.
Moreover, the social stigma that is associated with the teen pregnancy as well as motherhood is also a major factor that elaborates the effect of pregnancy on the psychology of a young girl. Such teens may have to deal with the feeling of guilt, depression, denial, anger and shame as a result of pregnancy in the early age. The social stigma also paves the way to the withdrawing of the teenage mother from the society in order to avoid the judgments. Teenage pregnancy is a contributing factor towards the development of the negative self-esteem in females. Such teenagers are reluctant to tell their parents, friends or other members of the family about their pregnancy that pave the way to further stress, feeling of shale, anxiety, and withdrawal from the society.
Furthermore, if the teenage females go for the option of terminating pregnancy, then this option further exerts long term psychological effects on such females. These effects include depression, sleep disorder, regret, disorders associated with anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Further, because of the guilt and shame the teens may seek out the help, and they also try to handle these issues on their own without assistance of anyone else. This also causes disruption in the other fields such as family, school, heath, and social relations of the life of young women. This feeling of the guilt, however, may continue for several years and even throughout the life, if it is not exposed in the open and is dealt with.
Additionally, according to the research that is conducted by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the chances of poverty, ending up in the abusive atmosphere of homes, incapability to sustain jobs, and having children who do not perform well in the schools are more in the teenage mothers. There are many practical solutions in order to deal with the problem of the teenage pregnancy. Much of the attention is required for creating awareness in the females about the harmful effects of the teenage pregnancy. The local health departments should play their role in this regard. The problem of the teenage pregnancy can be controlled by building relationships as they are important in order to engage the youth. However, the youth is engaged actively when they feel that they are connected to the staff of the project or to the leaders of the program.
Furthermore, implementation of the engaging activities is also helpful in this regard. The youth prefer to engage in the programs when the contents are not provided in teaching modes, rather they use the interactive approaches as well as those activities that help in the building of skills. So, by observing these scenarios and participating in these activities the teens become absorbed in these programs, and they learn more from them. The parents, teachers, and the organizational staff should try to model the positive behaviors while interacting with the adults and teens. This will help in the development of the healthy relationships, and the teens will develop a sense of courtesy and respect, and they will not feel dejected.
Motivational interviews should be conducted in order to cope with this problem. This is because the motivational interviews will help the teens to think differently about their attitude as well as behaviors, and they will also consider the future aspects in a positive way that what can be gained from the change, and how this can be beneficial for them. This strategy will be beneficial to the teens in a way that it enables them to envision a better future, and instead of indulging themselves in other activities they will be motivated in order to achieve their target. Attempts should be made in order to encourage creativity, so that the teens start to think outside the box. The creativity can also be assured with the help of creative examples such as use of the art projects that can create awareness in the females with the help of Twitter charts showing teen parents suffering from social problems, and with the help of classes that contain contents and techniques of pregnancy prevention.
Furthermore, teen students should be allowed to use alumni in order to build formal relationships with the current participants, so that they communicate on different matters instead of becoming pregnant at the early age. The program leaders should empower the teen parents to serve as the ambassador of the program so that they share their experience troubles, advantages and disadvantages to the other fellows, this will allow the teens to choose the right path. Such programs should be introduced which allow greater adaptability for the teens. The programs should allow cultural adaptations by modifying the roles in the present curricula in order to fit the entire population. Furthermore, the teen females should be encouraged for the development of good relations with their families; they should be encouraged for the healthy decisions about their lifestyle, for the use of the healthcare resources and regularly attending school. This will help in the prevention of the unintentional pregnancies in the teens.
The subject of the teen pregnancy is important because the teens are not mentally, emotionally and psychologically prepared for the child, they are unaware of the process of rearing or raising a child. The responsibility and the burden of taking care of the child the falls on the family or the state, which creates a burden on the society. Further, teen pregnancy today is a problem of family, society as well as it is also considered as a personal problem. In the short run, the teenage girl mainly suffers from the circumstances, but in the long run most people are affected such as her child, her family, and sometimes many family members have to pay a high price for this carelessness that pave the way to pregnancy. If the society of the United States is considered then 4 out of the 10 girls are the mothers of one or two kids before the age of 20, which is quite a high rate in the developed countries. However, in the United States, every year above 60 out of 1000 teenage girls deliver a baby, and the society has to pay billions. Further, about forty billion dollars are spent in the Medicaid and welfare funds each year.
So, the possible solution is the morals and the use of contraception if today’s society is considered. Abstinence is also a significant solution in order to avoid this problem. The schools should engage the teens in the sports programs and other projects so that their temptations of the sexual pressure can be controlled (Vincent, Clearie and Schluchter). This is further elaborated by Sigmund Freud in psychoanalytic theory. In this theory Sigmund Freud has emphasized on the personality formation. He has explained that the personality of an individual is shaped by 2 strong drives which are libido i.e., sexual motivation and the Thanatos i.e., aggressiveness (Rangell). So, these drives of teens should be controlled for controlling the teenage pregnancies.
In a nutshell, Teenage pregnancy is a big problem for the American society. This is leading to the creation of several psychological effects in the teenage girls that is ruining their health. Some girls accept the pregnancy in teenage because of lower socioeconomic status, while others want to achieve a high esteem in the society, and for this they pregnant in the early age. But, as a matter of fact teenage pregnant girl has to face several challenges; she has to solve her problems on her own as she hides everything from her parents, friends, and family. This subject matter is important because the teenagers are unaware of the responsibilities of being parents, and they become a burden on the state. So, for their awareness such subject matters are important. Sigmund Freud has described in his psychoanalytic theory that sexual motivation and aggressiveness are the factors behind building the personality of the individual. So, by controlling these factors, a person can be controlled from such arousals. There are many practical solutions of this problem such as building relationships with teens, modeling the positive behaviors in them, implementing the encouraging activities, encouraging them for building good relations with family, allow them for creativity and ensuring greater adaptability. This will keep the youth busy in such activities that will help them to develop their skills, and instead of adopting an option of becoming parents in the early age, they will focus on their future, and use their resources effectively in order to achieve their targets for a bright future. This will also be helpful to the society as instead of becoming a burden on the society, they will help in the progress and prosperity of society by taking part in various social and economic activities.
Frost, Jennifer J.. "The state of hormonal contraception today: overview of unintended pregnancy." American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology: S1-S3. Print.
Kost, Kathryn., and Stanley Henshaw. "U.S. Teenage Pregnancies, Births and Abortions, 2008: National Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity." Gutmacher Institute: 2-15. Print.
Vincent, Murray L., Andrew F. Clearie, and Mark D. Schluchter. "Reducing Adolescent Pregnancy Through School and Community-Based Education." JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association: 3382-3386. Print.
Rangell, Leo. The Road to Unity in Psychoanalytic Theory. Lanham, Md.: Jason Aronson, 2007. Print.