Teen Fathers: An Introduction
By Colette Kimball, M.P.H.
The Prevention Researcher,
Volume 11, Number 4, 2004, Pages 3-5, Item# A114-KIMBALL
Data from the National Center for Health Statistics suggests that about 17.4 per 1,000 males ages 15-19 years became teen fathers in 2002. Longitudinal studies suggest this number might be even higher. While the incidence of teen fatherhood is lower than that of teen motherhood, these young men are a potential resource for their child, as well as individuals with their own unmet needs. This introductory article to the topic of teen fatherhood, explores the challenges adolescent fathers experience.
Teen fathers face a developmental dilemma. They need to transition into parenthood while simultaneously going through adolescence and becoming an adult. Their fatherhood is impacted by both their ethnicity and cultural norms. Teenage fatherhood grows out of both personal and social contexts which influence young men's decisions regarding being sexually active, whether to use contraception, and pregnancy outcomes. Despite common stereotypes, there is increasing evidence that teen fathers want to be (and are) involved with their children in some ways. Teen parent programs which help young fathers with the legal aspects of fatherhood, help them become self-sufficient, teach effective parenting skills, and promote healthy lifestyles have shown to be effective.
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This article can be found in the issue:
The Prevention Researcher,
Volume 11, Number 4, 2004
Concern about teen parents has focused attention almost exclusively on teen mothers. Consequently, teen fathers are often neglected as potential resources for their children, as well as clients who have their own, usually unmet, needs. This issue focuses exclusively on adolescent fathers.
This issue also featured these articles:
- 'Being There:' The Perception of Fatherhood Among a Group of African American Adolescent Fathers, Pages 6-9
- Involvement by Young, Unmarried Fathers Before and After Their Baby's Birth, Pages 14-17
- Teen Fathers: An Introduction, Pages 3-5
- Teenage Fatherhood and Involvement in Delinquent Behavior, Pages 10-13
- Young Fathers Participating in a Fatherhood Program: Their Expectations and Perceived Benefits, Pages 18-20
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Step back from the usual sex-related topics of teen pregnancy and STIs, and examine sexuality more broadly in this issue.
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