Child Maltreatment Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Dated: 2018 Pages: 166-174
This study explored rates of early pregnancy and parenthood among a sample of young adults (N = 215), ages 18-22, with a history of foster care, and it also compared the educational attainment, financial resources, and homelessness experiences of young adults who became parents to those who did not.
The study found that by age 21, 49 percent of the young women became pregnant, and 33 percent of young men reported getting someone pregnant. Over a quarter of participants experienced parenthood, which was associated with lower educational attainment, less employment, not having a checking or savings account, and a history of homelessness. Gender moderated the association between parenthood and employment, such that males who were parents were more likely than female parents to be employed. Given that these young adults were at risk of early pregnancy and parenthood regardless of emancipation status and across several racial/ethnic groups, the results suggest a need for early pregnancy prevention efforts for all youth with child welfare involvement, as well as improving resources and support for those who become young parents. (publisher abstract modified)
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