Despite the decrease in teenage pregnancy in Canada, the topic remains a public health concern. Specifically the detriments these teenage mothers and babies put on society. Teenage mothers are less likely to complete their education which limits them to career opportunities and puts more emphasis on society to support these mothers. In 1996, there were 21, 597 births to mothers aged 15-19 years (Health Canada). Pregnant teenage girls are a vulnerable group in society. Many fundamental problems exist in this group and the answers to these problems have created more questions. Issues of education, maternal knowledge, socioeconomic status, family support systems, and the health care provided are areas widely discussed in literature today.

Education is an important issue to address in teenage pregnancy because it is linked directly to teenage pregnancy rates. �Many researchers have concluded that younger teenagers are at a disadvantage in assessing their personal risk of pregnancy because of their cognitive immaturity and limited ability to think abstractly� (Shearer, Mulvihill, Klerman, Wallander, Hovinga and Redden, 2002, p. 241). �Teenage mothers are more likely than older mothers to experience low educational and occupational achievement� (Shearer et al., 2002, p.236). The teenage girls, who do not have the motivation to succeed in school, might turn to other areas to fulfill their needs. "Clearly, cognitive ability influences school success, and success in school raises educational aspirations. If young women with low cognitive ability have minimal success in school, they may have low self-esteem. �Early childbearing may appear to them to be an appropriate and positive life choice" (Shearer et al., 2002, p. 240).

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Health Canada. (2003) Measuring Up: A Health Surveillance Update on Canadian Children and Youth. retrieved 10/30/03

Shearer, D.L., Mulvihill, B.A., Klerman, L.V., Wallander, J.L., Hovinga, M.E., & Redden, D.T. (2002) Association of Early Childbearing and Low Cognitive Ability. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 34(5) 236-243

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