Continuing Education Mitigates the Negative Consequences of Adolescent Childbearing


The article entitled “Continuing education mitigates the negative consequences of adolescent childbearing” by Sullivan (2011) demonstrates the impact of childbearing during the adolescent years and the problems associated with this practice in knowledge development and education regarding child development and the home environment. This article considers some of the most important obstacles regarding adolescent mothers and their lack of understanding of what is necessary to provide a loving and nurturing home for their children (Sullivan, 2011). This article also demonstrates the importance of maternal education in promoting a safer and friendlier home environment; in other words, when adolescent mothers remain in school, there is a greater chance that their home environments will be successful in supporting successful outcomes for their children (Sullivan, 2011).


The article explores the different dimensions of adolescent motherhood and how it impacts this population through specific socioeconomic challenges, such as broken families, low incomes, and general lack of direction in these households from which adolescents take their cues (Sullivan, 2011). These efforts also demonstrate that it is important to recognize the value of a positive home environment on the adolescent mother experience and the continuation of school to promote knowledge and learning (Sullivan, 2011).

The study explored lower income brackets using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Child Development Supplement, first established in the 1960s, whereby children were selected to evaluate their own development in the context of the family dynamic (Sullivan, 2011). An emphasis on adolescents who gave birth prior to the age of 18 was used to determine if continuing education would have any real impact on their development (Sullivan, 2011). The OLS regression model was used as a means of determining the impact of continued education on this population and it was determined that there is a significant benefit associated with the completion of basic education through high school for mothers, regardless of the age that their first child was born (Sullivan, 2011). These statistics demonstrate that there is a significant impact associated with continuing education because it provides many benefits that those who do not finish school are not likely to achieve (Sullivan, 2011). Within this context, it is important to recognize that a high school education has a tremendous impact on adolescent mothers and that even if their roles have changed, they should finish school in order to have a greater quality of life and an improved environment for their children (Sullivan, 2011). These efforts demonstrate that it is important to provide children with a well-rounded environment that embraces their ability to succeed, regardless of the circumstances that prevail.

This research study provides important information regarding the impact of education on adolescent mothers and the negative impact of the home environment when education is not completed (Sullivan, 2011). Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the conditions that lead to adolescent childbearing in the first place, as well as the indicators that might prevent students from completing their high school education after birth (Sullivan, 2011). These efforts demonstrate the continued impact of expanding opportunities for adolescent mothers to finish their education, while also considering other factors that are active contributors to their lack of growth and continued education. This study could go further in exploring the home and family dynamic, including the reasons why adolescents are more likely to become pregnant in specific environments, as well as other factors that contribute to their lack of focus and understanding regarding the importance of education in improving their home and family life and the wellbeing of their children.


This article has a number of positive benefits because it supports the general belief that education is critical to success across all population groups. At the same time, it is also evident that other factors contribute to the lack of success within some home environments, thereby leading to limited success and growth of these adolescents. Therefore, it is important to explore these disparities further and to recognize the limitations that exist in supporting the development of effective methods to allow adolescent mothers to return to school and to embrace learning more effectively. These efforts are critical to the long-term success of adolescent mothers, regardless of the environments in which they are raised, and captures the essence of continued growth and development for these mothers to improve the quality of their own lives as well as the lives of their children.

The study does not go far enough in the exploration of different ideas and approaches to support adolescent education and does not consider alternative means of education to support this population group. It is important to recognize these concerns and the issues that prevail in providing adolescent mothers with a framework that will engage them in learning and in returning to school to expand their horizons and their options for the future in order to provide for their children in a successful manner. These efforts must demonstrate the impact of education and why there are gaps in education for adolescent mothers and the steps that are required to overcome these challenges and to achieve greater outcomes. Additional studies should aim to provide adolescent mothers with a combination of tools that will support their educational aspirations and expectations so that they are effectively prepared to reenter the world and to make a name for themselves, while also improving the lives of their children at the same time.


Sullivan, K., Clark, J., Castrucci, B., Samsel, R., Fonseca, V., and Garcia, I. (2011). Continuing  education mitigates the negative consequences of adolescent childbearing. Maternal Child Health Journal, 15, 360-366.