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Psychological Impacts Of Teen Pregnancy


teenage girl holding pregnancy test

Teenage pregnancy rates have been declining for several years in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rates of teen pregnancy are falling in America, as 194,377 babies were born to women aged 15-19 years old in 2017. This is another record low for the U.S. teens and a drop of 7% from 2016. Although the reports indicate that rates continue to decrease, teen pregnancy is still a prevalent problem in America. While every situation will be undoubtedly different, it is vital to provide support to a pregnant teen through a pregnancy, that lasts any duration. Taking the time to consider the available options can not only help a pregnant teen feel supported but also enable her to make an informed decision. There are a variety of highly qualified professionals (e.g., health care provider, psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist, pregnancy counseling specialist, etc.) with which a young person can consult to consider and process the choice she is faced with when pregnant. The changes that occur in a pregnant teenager’s body will be drastic and without proper support her physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing are at risk.

Effects of Teen Pregnancy

There are myriad physiological effects that can develop because of teen pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) assert that early pregnancies among teenagers have “major health consequences for adolescent mothers and their babies. Pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15-19 years globally, with low- and middle-income countries accounting for 99% of global maternal deaths of women aged 15-49 years.” Pregnant teenagers are at increased risk of developing any combination of the following physical complications, provided by American Family Physician:

  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Premature birth
  • Eclampsia
  • Systemic infections
  • Puerperal endometritis
  • Delivering low birth weight babies

There are many possible psychological impacts of teen pregnancy. Some examples of possible mental health ailments that a young person could develop in direct relation to teen pregnancy could include, but are not limited, to the following conditions, as noted by the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Post-partum anxiety and/ or depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal ideation

Teen moms are twice as likely to experience post-partum depression as their adult counterparts, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Teenage mothers face an enormous amount of stress, which some studies report as a contributing factor that leads to increased mental health concerns. 

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at

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