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According to Dunphy’s (1963, 1969) model, heterosexual romantic relationships grow out of mixed-sexcliques and crowds during adolescence. These contexts play an important role in early romantic relationships,providing a heterosexual backdrop that allows adolescents to venture into opposite-sex relationshipsat their own pace, with the security of same-sex peers being present. Thus, membership of a mixed-sexclique or crowd increases the possibility of a romantic relationship developing from platonic opposite-sexrelationships and propinquity with opposite-sex peers (Connolly, Furman, & Konarski, 2000).Romantic relationships during adolescence usually take place within the context of dating, an arrangementbetween two individuals to spend time together alone, doing a mutually enjoyable activity — suchas going to a movie, visiting the beach or having a meal at a caf´e. Social trends indicate that dating isseen as ‘outdated’ by many of today’s teenagers, who, alternatively, advocate the casual sexual encounterof ‘hooking up’ (Stepp, 2007). However, according to Manning, Giordano, and Longmore (2006), datingis still the primary context for romantic relationships during adolescence.Dating grew out of earlier courtship rituals in Australia and other Western countries, in which youngcouples regularly had a chaperone (an accompanying older adult) on dates, and time spent together wasa prelude to marriage. With the lengthy period of modern adolescence, and the fact dating often beginsin the early teenage years, dating has become an end in itself, divorced from its earlier role in courtship.Thus, the functions of contemporary dating are partly recreational, being ‘fun’ activities in their ownright, without necessarily any serious romantic involvement, especially in early adolescence. Dating isalso expected within the peer context and is tied to peer status, often depending on who is dating whom.Despite its recreational and status functions, early adolescent dating is an important prelude to the deeper,618 PART 5 AdolescenceHoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.more lasting and more serious romantic relationships that occur in late adolescence and early adulthood.Dating gives young teenagers the chance to explore intimacy within a close non-platonic relationship,and to become aware of their sexuality, as well as furthering their own sense of identity (Sanderson &Cantor, 1995).Romantic relationships during adolescence usually take place within the context of dating.Dating in early adolescence tends to be superficial and not highly successful in promoting intimacy,which is more effectively pursued in same-sex platonic relationships during this period, especially forgirls. Young adolescents are cautious about letting down their emotional guards and exposing themselvesto possible hurt or embarrassment in early dating experiences. This emotional superficiality may existeven in the presence of sexual intimacy (Furman & Shaffer, 2003).Dating usually follows an understood set of rules known as a dating script. These cognitive templatesoften involve recognised gender roles within the dating relationship: boys take a proactive role, askingthe girl out, paying for any expenses involved and initiating any intimacy. Girls, on the other hand, arereactive, showing appreciation for the boy’s facilitation of the date and responding to intimacy overtures,including possibly limiting them (Newman & Newman, 2009; Rose & Frieze, 1993). The dating scriptof early adolescence often includes the rule of girls not showing too much emotional involvement. Thisemotional blandness, while limiting premature intimacy, may in fact be detrimental to the development oftrue intimacy in later adolescent and adult relationships. However, despite the prescription of emotionalblandness of the dating script, early romantic relationships are frequently characterised by very strongpositive emotions that can have the effect of altering the reality of adolescents’ everyday experiences.Being ‘in love’ is common by the time mid-adolescence is reached, and it can be so strongly feltthat it disrupts adolescents’ concentration on school work and deflects them from other relationships(Bouchey & Furman, 2003). Nonetheless, negative emotions, such as anxiety and jealousy, are commonlyexperienced in adolescent dating experiences — and the break-up of romantic relationships isCHAPTER 11 Psychosocial development in adolescence 619Hoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.often associated with the first episode of major depression experienced in adolescence (La Greca &Harrison, 2005).Group and individual differences are expressed in romantic relationships in several ways. Gender differencesare not only expressed in terms of the dating script, they are also apparent in the motivationsfor dating relationships during adolescence. Girls more frequently express a need for romance, and boysmore frequently express a need for physical attraction (Feiring, 1996; Underwood & Rosen, 2011).There are also age-related differences in the development of romantic relationships in adolescence,with wide differences in the ages at which dating and romantic relationships begin. Involvement in mixedsexcliques and crowds can precipitate dating earlier in adolescence, as does the early onset of puberty.Early adolescent relationships tend to be less enduring and are more superficial than relationships inlater adolescence, in which there is usually greater intimacy, companionship and mutual support (Carver,Joyner, & Udry, 2003; Furman, 2002).Wide cultural differences in dating and romantic relationships are recognised, with the age at whichdating first occurs varying according to cultural and religious beliefs. In some Asian cultures where marriagesare arranged, the concept of dating is redundant and, therefore, entirely alien to the parents ofteenagers. These parents consequently restrict the romantic opportunities of their offspring. Research inthe United States has found Asian American adolescents begin dating at later ages than African-Americanand Anglo-American adolescents (Carver et al., 2003). Adolescents from more restrictive cultural backgroundscan experience cultural conflicts between parental norms and the normative pressures of themainstream expressed in their peer groups, giving rise to ‘sneak dating’ as a solution. This is particularlyprevalent among teenage Latino girls in the United States, whose parents impose strict limitations onromantic involvements in contrast to greater parental laxness with boys’ dating behaviour (Raffaelli &Ontai, 2001; Raffaelli, 2005).Romantic relationships for gay and lesbian adolescents can be particularly problematic. Early datingtends to be emotionally shallow and short-lived, due to fear of peer reprisals and rejection. Gay andlesbian adolescents might find it difficult to locate romantic partners in the mainstream culture of highschools, since many of their homosexual peers may still be waiting to ‘come out’ in terms of their sexualidentity. Therefore, romantic relationships are more likely to be pursued outside of school and within theconfines of gay and lesbian associations and support groups (Diamond, 2003; Savin-Williams, 2003).WHAT DO YOU THINK?From your experience of adolescent peer groups, can you recognise any of the peer structures and developmentalchanges originally identified by Dunphy? Are these structures still current in the social lives oftoday’s adolescents? How has the digital world (e.g. the internet, smartphones and social networking)impacted the different aspects of peer relationships?11.5 Sexuality during adolescenceLEARNING OUTCOME 11.5 Discuss the changes in sexual activities that occur during adolescence, andhow sexual orientation and adolescent pregnancy can affect psychosocial development and adjustment.Adolescence provides a transition between the asexuality of childhood and the sexuality of adulthood.Along with the maturation of the sex organs, there are increased sexual feelings or sex drive, prompted inboth males and females by increased levels of adrenal androgens, which reach their peak level between theages of 10 and 12 years. Despite the underlying hormonal processes, how the sex drive may be expressedbehaviourally greatly depends on environmental variables, including social and cultural factors (Halpern,Udry, & Suchindran, 1997; LaFreniere, 2000).620 PART 5 AdolescenceHoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.Transition to coitusThe first and earliest expression of the sex drive is often in autoerotic activities or masturbation, whichis when the genitals are stimulated manually. Masturbation in boys appears to be more common than ingirls, with the majority of 15-year-old boys having practised it. From the early teen years, masturbationfrequency declines for boys, but increases in girls (Hyde & DeLamater, 2011). General attitudes to masturbationhave changed from the punitive and misguided views of earlier decades, with experts in sexualbehaviour now regarding masturbation as a harmless activity that allows adolescents and older individualsto explore their sexuality. Nonetheless, masturbation can still be accompanied by feelings of guilt andshame for some individuals.The transition from autoerotic to mutually erotic activities during adolescence usually follows aprogression from kissing through mutual manual stimulation of areas such as the breasts and genitals(‘petting’), to full sexual intercourse or coitus (O’Sullivan & Brooks-Gunn, 2007). The first coitus formsa significant sexual milestone along the road to adulthood, and the average age at which this occurs hassteadily declined. By the end of adolescence, most individuals in Western countries have experiencedcoitus, with Year 11 being a watershed after which a majority of teenagers have become sexually active(Moore & Rosenthal, 2006; Newman & Newman, 2009). Adolescent girls today are participating to agreater degree in sexual activity than in previous generations, although boys engage in sexual activityat an earlier age than most girls. The majority of Australian youth become sexually active during theirteenage years, with a small minority still virgins in their twenties (Noller, Feeney, & Peterson, 2001).Nevertheless, the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic may have resulted in a postponing and replacement offirst coitus with oral sex, which is mistakenly regarded as a safer option as far as sexually transmissibleinfections (STIs) are concerned. It is also regarded by many adolescents as a more socially acceptableoption than full coitus (Halpern-Felsher, Cornell, Kropp, & Tschann, 2005).Despite an overall lowering in the age of first coitus, there are still wide individual differences inthe age of first intercourse for teenagers. In order to explain such variations, Udry and Billy (1987)proposed a three-factor model accounting for the variables that influence transition to coitus duringadolescence. Motivation includes biological imperatives, physical maturity and internalised norms andattitudes. Social controls include parental, school and peer influences, while attractiveness includesboth physical and social attractiveness. All these factors directly affect transition to coitus, except forsocial controls. According to Udry and Billy, these are mediated by internalised norms and attitudes.The factors may act differentially for boys and girls in predicting coital activity, with hormonallevels the strongest factor for boys, but absent (not a factor) for girls. Girls’ coital activity is moststrongly predicted by various social controls (Katchadourian, 1990; Udry, Billy, Morris, Groff, &Raj, 1985).Subsequent research has highlighted the factors identified by Udry and Billy (1987). For exampleMarin, Kirby, Hudes, Coyle, and Gomez (2006) found that the influence of older peers is particularlypowerful in girls’ transition to coitus. Parental factors are crucial, with divorce and single parenting, poorparental monitoring and disrupted communication between parents and children as predictors of earlycoitus in adolescence (e.g. Howard & Wang, 2004). Poor school performance and lowered educationalaspirations have also been pinpointed as possible precipitators of early and frequent coitus in adolescence(Anaya, Cantwell, & Rothman-Borus, 2003). The effects of early first coitus on subsequent adjustmentand mental health are controversial, with some authors claiming adverse outcomes including depressionin later adolescence and early adulthood (e.g. Hallfors et al., 2004; Rector, Johnson, & Noyes, 2003);while other authors provide contrary evidence (e.g. Lehrer, Shrier, Gortmaker, & Buka, 2006). Large-scalelongitudinal research by Jamieson and Wade (2011) concluded that no direct link exists between earlyfirst coitus in adolescents between 11 and 16 years and the development of depression in the ensuing eightyears, during late adolescence or early adulthood. Instead, depressive symptomology and early coitus arelinked to similar biopsychosocial factors that may precipitate both — a finding that echoes an earlierstudy by Meier (2007).CHAPTER 11 Psychosocial development in adolescence 621Hoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.First coitus occurs in a wide range of different contexts, ranging from planned to impulsive; as part ofan ongoing romantic relationship, or an isolated coupling with a relative stranger; and from a voluntary actto one in which sexual coercion or violence is involved. This contextual variability might account for theinconsistency seen in adolescent reactions to first coitus, ranging from a frightening, disgusting or painfulexperience to one involving joy, ecstasy and great intimacy (Tolman, Spencer, Harmon, Rosen-Reynoso,& Streipe, 2004). There have been marked historical changes in societal attitudes to transition to coitusduring adolescence. The stance of general prohibition and a social norm of abstinence until marriagewere prevalent in Western countries up until the late 1950s. However, with the advent of the birth controlpill permitting reliable contraception and the subsequent sexual revolution of the 1960s, there has beena general liberalisation, with a pervading present-day attitude of permissiveness with affection; in otherwords, intercourse is generally condoned within a loving or committed premarital relationship (Hyde &DeLamater, 2011).Historically, premarital sexual activity was seen as permissible for unmarried adolescent boys andforbidden for adolescent girls, who were expected to be virgins on their wedding day; a gender-baseddifference in attitude known as the double standard. Despite more liberal Western attitudes to currentadolescent sexuality and the inroads of the Women’s Movement which promoted sexual equality, vestigesof these gender-based attitudes linger in countries like Australia and New Zealand. Parents who experiencedthe sexual revolution may still expect their sons to ‘sow their wild oats’ during adolescence, but seethe same behaviour as less acceptable in their daughters, possibly because of the risk of unwanted pregnancy.These attitudes are reflected in gender differences in adolescent sexual activity, with boys morelikely to be sexually active and at an early age than are girls (Newman & Newman, 2009). Internationallyrenowned Australian researcher into adolescent sexuality Doreen Rosenthal summed up the doublestandard in Australia:Although the old image of women as passive victims of male sexual urges no longer applies to most oftoday’s young women, there is still a strong belief that male sexuality is of a different order to that offemales and to some extent is privileged. We have a long way to go before young people understand thepower of gender beliefs and attitudes in setting a sexual agenda (University of Melbourne, 2008).In many non-Western countries, the double standard is still strongly enforced. For example, in mostAsian countries, North Africa and the Middle East, female conformity to the cultural expectation ofvirginity until marriage is generally upheld by strong societal sanctions (Johnson, Wadsworth, Wellings,Bradshaw, & Field, 1992; Peltzer & Pengpid, 2006).Sexual orientationSexual orientation involves the gender of persons to whom an individual feels sexually attracted.It should not be confused with gender identity (the psychological sense of being masculine/man orfeminine/woman) or gender role (the degree of masculinity or femininity that individuals feel in regardto themselves). Sexual orientation was once thought of as being dichotomous: that individuals were eitherattracted to people of the opposite sex to themselves (heterosexual) or to people of the same sex asthemselves (homosexual). Research by Alfred Kinsey during the 1940s helped to reconceptualise sexualorientation as a continuum from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality (Kinsey, Pomeroy,& Martin, 1948). A significant minority of individuals now identify themselves according to their sexualorientation as lesbian (females attracted to females), gay (males attracted to males) or bisexual (beingattracted to members of both sexes).It is unclear how many teenagers are predominantly heterosexual, as opposed to one of the minoritysexual orientations described above. Reliable statistics on sexual orientation are difficult to obtain anddepend on whether adolescents have established their orientation and have openly identified as oneof the minority sexual orientations. In a large-scale US study of 38 000 adolescents in Years 7 to 12,88.2 per cent described themselves as predominantly heterosexual, 1.1 per cent described themselves as622 PART 5 AdolescenceHoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.predominantly homosexual or bisexual and 10.7 per cent were uncertain about their sexual orientation(Remafedi, Resnick, Blum, & Harris, 1992). Other studies have found that between 3 and 6 per cent ofteenagers report they are lesbian or gay (Patterson, 1995).The Australian Research Centre in Health and Society (ARCSHS) at La Trobe University, Melbourne,carried out a large-scale representative survey of 20 000 adults in 2003, and found that 1.6 per cent of themen sampled disclosed as gay, 0.8 per cent of women identified themselves as lesbian, and 1.4 per centof women and 0.9 per cent men self-described as bisexual (Australian Research Centre in Health andSociety [ARCSHS], 2003). This is still the most comprehensive research study of this kind to date. Amore recent Australian ‘pop survey’ of 17 000 Australians (The Great Australian Sex Census, 2013–14)provided the 2013–14 statistics in table 11.2.TABLE 11.2 Australian sexual preference 2013–14Total Male FemaleHeterosexual 75.0% 78.0% 68.5%Homosexual 4.9% 5.8% 3.0%Bisexual 9.1% 6.8% 14.1%Bi-curious 10.2% 8.5% 13.9%Did not answer 0.8% 0.9% 0.5%Source: The Great Australian Sex Census (2013–14).Adolescence is a period of development that is often pivotal in the establishment of sexual orientation.It is the time when individuals first have a clear idea of which sex they are attracted to, because of thetriggering of sexual desire due to the hormonal changes of puberty, and the social opportunities thatare available in the mixed-sex world of adolescence. Individuals may identify with a particular minoritysexual orientation during adolescence through self-labelling as gay, lesbian or bisexual.The next step in this process, disclosure, is usually more prolonged than self-labelling, mainly becauseof the stigma that continues to be associated with minority sexual orientations (Patterson, 1995). Untilrelatively recently, homosexuality was regarded as a psychological abnormality to be treated and curedand, in many parts of the world, is yet to be decriminalised. So, while adolescents who identify with themajority sexual orientation do not feel the need to self-disclose as heterosexuals, disclosure of a minoritysexual orientation can be an additional and often stressful event for gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents.Typically, disclosure first occurs with close friends, then with family, frequently resulting in anincreased sense of genuineness and self-determination. Australian research by Hillier, Turner, andMitchell (2005), involving more than 1700 individuals aged between 14 and 21 years, revealed that disclosureusually occurred first with a close friend, followed by disclosure to mothers. Between 1998 and2004, when the study was repeated, there was a significant increase in disclosure, reflecting more tolerantattitudes and greater support for same-sex attracted youth. In similar research carried out in the UnitedStates, Savin-Williams and Ream (2003) found that less than 4 per cent of the gay and lesbian teenagerswhom they interviewed had experienced adverse parental reactions to their ‘coming out’, which generallyoccurred in late adolescence. However, disclosure can often arouse strong parental feelings of concern fortheir offspring, who may face homophobia in a mainstream world that is still prejudiced against minoritysexual orientations.The task of achieving a personal identity can be difficult for non-heterosexual adolescents, who bearthe added burdens of grappling with their difference and the anxieties and dangers involved in having aminority status in regard to their sexuality. Some gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers experience rejectionby their families, schools and religious organisations — the very institutions that adolescents depend onfor social support. For example, in 2004, 38 per cent of Australian gay, bisexual and lesbian adolescentsCHAPTER 11 Psychosocial development in adolescence 623Hoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.and young adults reported unfair or abusive treatment on the basis of their sexual orientation and revealedthat school was the main setting for such treatment. As well, many had been forced into painful choicesbetween their religion and their sexual orientation, resulting in difficulties with identity formation (Hillieret al., 2005). In view of these findings, greater understanding and recognition is needed, with active supportfrom family, school and community organisations, as well as anti-discrimination legislation. Theseconditions are vital in creating an environment that allows adolescents from minority sexual orientationsto successfully master additional challenges to identity formation (Hershberger & D’Augelli, 1995).Minority status in terms of sexual identity can carry with it greater risks to health and wellbeing. Overseasresearch has revealed minority status is significantly associated with greater depression and highersuicide rates during adolescence (Lester, 2006). It appears the verbal abuse, stigmatisation and threatsof physical attack that these young people often experience is a key factor in putting sexual-orientationminority youth at greater risk for mental health problems. In a 2004 Australian survey, 44 per cent ofsame-sex attracted youth reported having experienced verbal abuse and 16 per cent reported having experiencedphysical assault because of their sexual orientation. Abused Australian same-sex attracted youthfared significantly worse on all indicators of health and wellbeing than non-abused same-sex attractedyouth in the study (Hillier et al., 2005).Much research has been devoted to understanding the mechanisms underlying the development of sexualorientation. Experiences within the family have traditionally been considered an important contributorto this process. For example, opposite-gender behaviour in childhood appears to be strongly associatedwith non-heterosexual orientations in adolescence and adulthood for both sexes. However, a substantialproportion of gay and lesbian adults report no or few opposite-gender behaviours in childhood (Bailey &Zucker, 1995; Golombok & Tasker, 1996).In a unique longitudinal study examining the influence of social learning in the development of sexualorientation, Golombok and Tasker (1996) compared the sexual orientations of 21 adults raised by lesbian624 PART 5 AdolescenceHoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.mothers with the sexual orientations of 21 adults raised by heterosexual single mothers. Although childrenfrom lesbian families were more likely to explore same-sex relationships, there was no significantdifference between the number from each type of family who identified themselves as heterosexual orhomosexual in adulthood. Such findings suggest that environmental factors and social learning mechanismsdo not have a strong influence on the development of sexual orientation.In the absence of compelling evidence for social learning models of sexual orientation, researchershave looked instead at the contributions of biological and genetic predispositions to the development ofsexual orientation (Byne, 1994; LeVay & Hamer, 1994; Patterson, 1995). Biogenetic factors are assumedto play an important role, since identical twins are more likely to share a homosexual orientation thanare fraternal twins. Australian studies have identified the possible role of prenatal hormonal exposure thatmay modify brain structures involved in sexual attraction (Bailey, Dunne, & Martin, 2000). However, todate there is little definitive evidence of differences in brain structure that correlate with differences insexual orientation. Thus, the origins of sexual orientation are still unclear, but it is assumed that complexbiopsychosocial processes influence differential patterns of interpersonal attraction.Adolescent pregnancy and parenthoodThe Australian teenage birth rate of 11.9 births per thousand (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS],2017) compares favourably with that of other developed countries, with 67 births per thousand in theUnited States (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2006), Canada (11.1), is less than New Zealand (18.5) andless than England and Wales (14.5). Since 2009, this rate has decreased in Australia from 17 births perthousand to its current rate noted above. The Australian region with the highest teenage birth rate in 2009was the Northern Territory, with an annual birth rate of 48 births per thousand, compared to just 10 perthousand in both the ACT and Victoria, the states with the lowest teenage birth rates. Most teenage birthsin 2009 were to mothers aged 18 and 19 years (69 per cent), while only 4 per cent were to adolescentgirls under 15 years of age. Despite the comparatively modest teenage birth rate in Australia, there isstill a substantial number of young mothers who are faced with one of the major milestones of adulthoodduring a crucial developmental period, when adult behaviours and responsibilities are still emerging.A teenage girl’s reaction to an unplanned pregnancy is influenced by a variety of factors, includingher self-esteem, her feelings about school, her relationship with the baby’s father and with her parents,perceived family support for keeping the child, and how many of her peers have become parents (Faber,1991; Furstenberg, Brooks-Gunn, & Chase-Lansdale, 1989). In Australia, many adolescent females whobecome pregnant opt for termination. The experience of an induced termination can be psychologicallystressful for teenagers, depending on their feelings about the pregnancy and about abortion in general;the attitudes and support of parents, peers and sexual partners; and overall personal adjustment andlife circumstances (Franz & Reardon, 1992; Hardy, 1991). Nowadays, increasing numbers of Australianteenage girls are deciding to give birth instead of terminating their pregnancies (Grayson, Hargreaves, &Sullivan, 2005). As well, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of young Australian motherschoosing adoption as a result of a teenage pregnancy, and, therefore, a concomitant increase in the numberwho decide to keep and raise their babies. Changes in societal attitudes towards births outside wedlock,as well as greater governmental support for single mothers, have made teenage parenting more viablethan in previous generations (Women’s Health Queensland Wide, 2011).Consequences of teenage parenthoodTeenage parenthood carries with it significant risks, both for mothers and their babies. Because of lessadequate prenatal care, teenage mothers experience more prenatal and birth complications than oldermothers. The babies of teenage mothers are consequently more likely to be premature, have low birthweight and neurological defects, and are also more likely to die during their first year (Dell, 2001). Forsome children of teenage mothers, delays in cognitive development emerge during the preschool years, aswell as behavioural problems including aggression and lack of impulse control. Moreover, where teenageCHAPTER 11 Psychosocial development in adolescence 625Hoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.parenthood intersects with economic disadvantage, children of adolescent parents are particularly at riskof academic failure and school drop-out (Whitman, Borkowski, Keogh, & Weed, 2001).In adolescence, sons born to teenage mothers have higher rates of school failure and incarceration,and daughters display earlier sexual activity and pregnancy than their peers born to older mothers(Brooks-Gunn, Schley, & Hardy, 2002; Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998). Although children of teenagemothers are also at risk of becoming parents during adolescence, it is estimated that only about25 per cent of the daughters and 10 per cent of the sons of teenage parents become teenage parentsthemselves (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2011). Coley and Chase-Lansdale also note thatthe lower socioeconomic status experienced by the majority of teenage parents appears to be a moreimportant predictor of their children’s functioning than maternal age at birth. As well, teenagers whogive birth to children are more likely than their non-parent peers to come from disadvantaged backgroundsand to have adjustment problems and lower educational attainment. Having a child during theteenage years often exacerbates the already existing difficulties associated with economic disadvantage(Jaffee, 2002).Research has revealed a number of adverse outcomes for teenage parents, and teenage mothers in particular.In Australia, 60 per cent of teenage mothers do not have a current male partner and the majoritybring up their child or children alone, a trend that is repeated in other industrialised nations (Child Trends,2005; Queensland Health, 2004). Teenage mothers are less likely than their non-parent adolescent peersto complete their secondary education. They are also less likely to go on to higher education, to find astable well-paying job, to enter a secure marriage and to achieve an average or above-average incomein their lifetimes. Detrimental outcomes for teenage mothers are not simply the result of early parenting,but are also influenced by selection factors; for example, socioeconomic disadvantage that precededthe pregnancy. These factors, in combination with the stresses imposed by teenage parenthood, produceadverse life courses for teenage mothers (Luster & Haddow, 2005).Teenage fathers are less negatively affected, largely because they generally do not assume responsibilityfor raising their children (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998; Condon & Corkindale, 2002). Research onteenage fathers is scarce and has mainly originated in the United States. Teenage fathers are usually withintwo years in age of the mother (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2006) and generally stay in contact during theperiod prior to and following the birth, sometimes marrying, and often living with or continuing to datethe mother (Bunting & McAuley, 2004). However, contact lessens as the child gets older. Some fathersprovide financial support and may drop out of school to secure employment. Because of an emergingpicture of adverse effects on teenage fathers, researchers have stressed the need to include them as wellin any interventions for adolescent mothers and their children (Armstrong et al., 1999).When adolescent mothers have support from their family of origin, their peers and their partner, aswell as adequate financial resources and educational opportunities, many of the adverse outcomes ofteenage parenthood can be averted or at least diminished (Bunting & McAuley, 2004). Effective supportprograms for pregnant teenagers and teenage parents generally focus on providing prenatal and postnatalhealth care, economic support, childcare and parenting assistance, education, and job training. InAustralia, support programs are often run in conjunction with, or by, schools, with an aim of keepingteenage parents in education and preventing early school drop-out, which can lead to lifelong disadvantagefor both parents and children. For example, Brisbane’s Mable Park State High School and Sydney’sPlumpton High School run support programs for student parents. The Plumpton High School programwas the subject of an ABC documentary, Plumpton High Babies.Family of origin plays a vital role in supporting teenage parents, especially mothers. Many youngerteenage mothers continue to live with their family; for those who live independently, close contact withfamily is important. Luster, Bates, Vandenbelt, and Nievar (2004) contend that support from family membersnot only has a positive effect on mothers’ parenting, but there are also positive effects for the child,as a result of grandparents providing direct parenting of their grandchild. Grandparents are also importantin modelling appropriate parenting behaviours to adolescent mothers, and teenagers with appropriatemodels tend to become better parents than mothers who lack intergenerational support. As well, the626 PART 5 AdolescenceHoffnung, M. (2018). Lifespan development, 4th australasian edition. Retrieved from https://allaplusessays.com/order from scu on 2020-05-03 03:25:01.Copyright © 2018. Wiley. All rights reserved.mother’s developmental experiences of being raised impacts on her own parenting. Luster and Haddow(2005) discovered adolescent mothers who were securely attached infants were more skilled as parentsthan mothers who were insecurely attached or rejected by their own parents.

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