The effect of pregnancy on adolescent growth and development.
Adolescent pregnancy represents a triple developmental crisis to young women, that of adolescence, pregnancy, and establishing a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Physiologically the adjustments of pregnancy are superimposed on those of pubescence. Psychologically and intellectually the pregnant adolescent is still developing, and it is thus difficult for her to meet the physiological demands of pregnancy. Society has responded by developing comprehensive programs for intensive care which have reduced considerably the risks of pregnancy. Contraceptive knowledge has not totally prevented the problems of teenage pregnancy, in part because the adolescents who become pregnant are not sufficiently developed intellectually to perceive that today's actions may prevent future consequences. This paper reviews the literature and synthesizes the published studies with personal experience gained in over five years of professional work with teenage women.
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