In developed countries, teenage pregnancies are associated with social issues, including lower educational levels, poverty, and other negative life outcomes in children of teenage mothers.Teenage pregnancy in developed countries is usually outside of marriage, and carries a social stigma in many communities and cultures.According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), "Pregnancies among girls less than 18 years of age have irreparable consequences.It violates the rights of girls, with life-threatening consequences in terms of sexual and reproductive health, and poses high development costs for communities, particularly in perpetuating the cycle of poverty." Health consequences include not yet being physically ready for pregnancy and childbirth leading to complications and malnutrition as the majority of adolescents tend to come from lower-income households.Young motherhood in an industrialized country can affect employment and social class.Less than one third of teenage mothers receive any form of child support, vastly increasing the likelihood of turning to the government for assistance.Professor John Ermisch at the institute of social and economic research at Essex University and Dr Roger Ingham, director of the centre of sexual health at Southampton University – found that comparing teenage mothers with other girls with similarly deprived social-economic profiles, bad school experiences and low educational aspirations, the difference in their respective life chances was negligible.
Eight years earlier, the federally commissioned report "Kids Having Kids" also contained a similar finding, though it was buried: "Adolescent childbearers fare slightly better than later-childbearing counterparts in terms of their overall economic welfare." Pregnancy and giving birth significantly increases the chance that these mothers will become high school dropouts and as many as half have to go on welfare.
There are, however, additional concerns for those under 15 of age as they are less likely to be physically developed enough to sustain a healthy pregnancy or to give birth.
Risks of low birth weight, premature labor, anemia, and pre-eclampsia are connected to the biological age, being observed in teen births even after controlling for other risk factors (such as accessing prenatal care etc.).
Life outcomes for teenage mothers and their children vary; other factors, such as poverty or social support, may be more important than the age of the mother at the birth.
Many solutions to counteract the more negative findings have been proposed.