The relationship status of teen parents & child wellbeing

A new fact sheet from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, “Why it Matters: Teen Childbearing, Single Parenthood, and Father Involvement,” looks at the marital and relationship status of teen parents and the impact it has on these families.

Teen mothers are less likely to be married than their older counterparts. Nationwide, 88 percent nationwide were single in 2010; regionally about 91 percent were unmarried during the same time period.

Of the teen mothers who were married when their child was born, 38 percent split up by the time the child was five years old. The results are similar for couples that were cohabitating — 42 percent split by the child’s fifth birthday.

The fact sheet also looks at the impact of relationship status on these families:

  • Teen moms are nearly twice as likely than older mothers to be struggling emotionally
  • Only about a quarter of teen mothers receive formal or informal child support from the father
  • About half of non-resident fathers saw their child in the past month.
  • Of the nonresident fathers that saw their child in the previous month, half of those saw their child several times during the month.
  • Father involvement — and living proximity to their children — has a significant impact on child wellbeing.