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Economics of academic achievement among adolescent mothers

deBorja, Leyan (2017) Economics of academic achievement among adolescent mothers. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Adolescent pregnancy is a significant issue that needs to be addressed in the United States. Although the rates of teen pregnancy have steadily declined, they are still high compared to other developed nations, such as the United Kingdom and Canada. Adolescent parenthood has a great impact and can result in negative outcomes for young mothers and their children.
Educational aspirations and achievement are delayed and hindered by adolescent pregnancy, but are very important in mitigating negative outcomes, specifically financial instability and low socioeconomic status. Research has found that young mothers can be highly resilient and are aware of the importance of education in improving their lives as well as the lives of their children. However, the statistics illustrating educational attainment among teen mothers paint a dismal picture. Factors that influence the academic goals and achievement of adolescent mothers include competing responsibilities, repeat pregnancy, social support, stigma and discrimination, cultural and societal norms as well as policy.
Programs serving teenage mothers are reviewed in addition to identifying factors that affect educational achievement among adolescent mothers. Common components and services are recognized. The program components highlighted are individualized services, wrap around services, post-secondary education encouragement and support, family engagement, collaborations between organizations, life-skills education, and peer mentorship.
The Maikuru Program, a mentorship program for teen mothers, has shown success in reducing repeat teen pregnancy and increasing the rates of educational attainment among participants. Other outcomes from the Maikuru Program are discussed and recommendations to increase the positive impact of the Maikuru Program are offered. The recommendations include community collaboration, case management, family engagement, peer mentorship, qualitative evaluation, and advocacy for policy reform.
Supporting the population of adolescent mothers has profound public health significance. Helping adolescent mothers set and accomplish realistic educational goals that improve their chances and increase their opportunities to be successful in the work force could reduce the costs of adolescent pregnancy, while also helping teen mothers become financially stable. Financial stability will go a long way in improving the quality and outcome of the lives of adolescent mothers and their children and reduce likelihood dependence on financial aid.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
deBorja, Leyanlmd97@pitt.edulmd97
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorTerry, Martha
Committee MemberSouth-Paul,
Committee MemberFelter,
Date: 24 February 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 5 December 2016
Approval Date: 24 February 2017
Submission Date: 18 November 2016
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 91
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: economics, teenage pregnancy, academic achievement, policy, career development
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2017 16:39
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2018 06:15


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