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Baby Papas: Maturity on a fast track

September 4, 2008 | 10:23 am

The bulk of studies on teen pregnancy center on the mother, but very young fathers are presented with significant obstacles when it comes to their own education and ability to earn a livable income. Teen fathers have less education and are less likely to finish high school than their peers who have not yet become fathers, according to research from Indiana University Bloomington. Teen fathers enter the labor market earlier and by their mid-20s, earn less than their peers who were not adolescent parents.

Teendad3 Bristol Palin, 17, daughter of Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin, and Levi Johnston, 18, Bristol's boyfriend and the father of the baby she's carrying, represent a very small minority of teens. Only 7% of births each year involve teenage fathers, and only 3% of adolescent men are married, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which does research and provides education on sexual and reproductive issues. A story at ABC News online examines the challenges faced by adolescents who become fathers.

In one study of 45 children of teenage fathers, only 45% were living with their dads by the age of 18 to 24 months.

Teen dads need help and support, says Roland Warren, president of the National Fatherhood Initiative, a group that aims to support and educate fathers of all ages about their role. Warren himself was a father at the age of 19 and married when his girlfriend was five months pregnant.  "We've been married for 26 years. The kid went to Harvard and the whole deal," he says.  "But there are a lot of forces working against you."

"You've got to give [teen fathers] the skills they need to connect heart to heart with that child," he says. "And that gives them the motivation to finish school, find a job, support the family. Support him in the process of maturing, which he's going to have to do at light speed."

--Susan Brink

Photo: Students at Mission Viejo's Silverado High School in a class on premature fatherhood. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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Comments (2)

Many Americans had the chance to meet Levi previous to his RNC cornonation through his MySpace page, that is before it was surgically scrubbed. The New York Post, was either lucky enough or smart enough to have preserved excerpts from Johnston's MySpace page before it was removed from the internet:

"I'm a f - - -in' redneck" who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

"But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s- - - and just f - - -in' chillin' I guess."

"Ya f - - - with me I'll kick [your] ass," he added.

He also claims to be "in a relationship," but states, "I don't want kids."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/01/levi-johnston-bristol-pal_n_1
23089.html

Kids, you can clean em up, dress em up and make them behave in
public, but they are still just that.. kids.

And just when you think think it can't possibly get anymore embarrassing for John McCain, it does.

MoveOn.org just broke what is probably the most defining story involving the biggest media gaffe in the entire presidential campaign. This incident happened right in the middle of the McCain's campaign effort to paint the media as unfair and biased towards Palin.

"It's funny what Republican pundits say when they think nobody's watching. Today, John McCain's former campaign chief Mike Murphy and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan were caught on tape after an NBC interview. They shared their real thoughts on McCain's judgment in selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate." [MoveOn.org]

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=24255&id=13697-5536685-pvU3vCx&t=3

The bulk of studies on teen pregnancy center on the mother, but very young fathers are presented with significant obstacles when it comes to their own education and ability to earn a livable income. Teen fathers have less education and are less likely to finish high school than their peers who have not yet become fathers, according to research from Indiana University Bloomington. Teen fathers enter the labor market earlier and by their mid-20s, earn less than their peers who were not adolescent parents.



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