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When children become parentsWelfare state responses to teenage pregnancy$
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Anne Daguerre and Corinne Nativel

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346780

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346780.001.0001

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Young single mothers and ‘welfare reform’ in the US

Young single mothers and ‘welfare reform’ in the US

(p.21) Two Young single mothers and ‘welfare reform’ in the US
When children become parents

Christine Carter McLaughlin

Kristin Luker

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the emergence of teenage pregnancy as a social problem in the US, paradoxically at a time when teenage pregnancy is declining. It presents statistical data on adolescent birth rate, teenage pregnancy rate and abortion rate; these sets of data indicate that the fall in teenage pregnancy is most likely due to improved contraceptive use rather than a corresponding decrease in the frequency of intercourse among sexually experienced teenagers. This chapter also discusses the sociological explanations of teenage pregnancy, as well as the current policy initiatives that have been put in place to help adolescent mothers. The discussions in this chapter further indicate that the ideology of welfare dependency has prevented the development of comprehensive policy responses to teenage pregnancy.

Keywords:   USA, adolescents, teenage pregnancy, social problems, birth rate, pregnancy rate, sociology, mothers

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