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Teenage mothers tend to live in most vulnerable situations

Women which had children between the ages of 15 and 19 reportedly have the worst working conditions, greater marital instability and higher risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.

Bogotá D. C., 02 de junio de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

Teenage mothers between 15 and 17 have the worst work options.

Most suffer from emotional instability.

Piedad Urdinola, Professor of the UNal Department of Statistics.

The survey included more than 14,000 teen mothers.

Teenage mother babies have greater probability of infant death.

97% of the mothers suffer from severe domestic violence.

As confirmed by study Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Department of Statistics Professor Piedad Urdinola participated in and which analyzed the lifestyle of women after 30 years of age which had been teenage mothers.

For the survey the study chose women born between 1964 and 1979.  12,469 women had been teen mothers at ages between 15 and 19 compared to a group of 12,113 mothers who had their children between 18 and 21. 

Motivation for the survey came from observing that the rate of adolescent fertility in Colombia is growing at an unusual pace, while in women of other age groups, the figure diminishes. 

In 1986, 70 of every 1,000 young women were pregnant, while in 2010 the amount increased to 80, a trend which has maintained. 

“As opposed to teenagers, other women age groups show a diminished fertility rate. This is unusual because when fertility drops, the norm is that it is the same for all age groups. In younger women, on the contrary, it tends to increase,” said Urdinola. 

Data was obtained from the 1990 and 2010 National Demography and Health Surveys, separating women by age groups to perform the comparison. 

The first group included women between the ages of 18 and 19 compared to women between 20 and 21. Later teens between 15 and 17, compared to women between 18 and 19. And lastly they compared teens between 15 and 17 with women between 20 and 22 years of age. 

Firstly they compared the quality of work women had after having 30 years of age, including formal work, that is with access to a pension or contractors with a university degree; and informal workers including domestic workers, farmers and family workers. 

Therefore women who were mothers between the ages of 15 and 17 had the least probability (-116 %) of finding better employment. Furthermore it was also clear that the job quality of their partners also diminished. 

The survey also studied women and their marital status. “Teenage mothers in Latin America may wed a second or even up to four times, so we asked if they had changed their partners on multiple occasions as this may be a sign of instability,” said Urdinola. 

87% of teen mothers between 18 and 19 have greater marital instability as opposed to women who were mothers between 20 and 21. 

The survey also showed that teens which had their babies between 15 and 17 years of age have a 97% probability of suffering from severe domestic violence; in other words, gun or knife threats, kicking, biting, burns or physical violence which could endanger their lives. 

Lastly 19% of the teen mothers have greater infant mortality rates. “Probably because they did not have prenatal care or medical guidance during the first years of age of their infants. Medical care is necessary, but also psychological consultancy,” added Urdinola. 

Universidad de los Andes doctoral candidate Carlos Ospino also participated in the research project published by the scientific journal, Demographic Research.

(Por: Fin/VC/DMH/APBL
)
N.° 816

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