PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL GROUPS:THE BEST OPTIONS FOR TEEN MOMS. English 215 November 24,2012 Teen pregnancy has been a problem in the United States for years. Although rates have dropped since the 1990’s, teen pregnancy rates in the United States are still higher than other western societies. Teenage pregnancy is accompanied with many negative consequences such as shortened educational experience, diminished employment, larger family size, increased risk of single- parent and poverty. Teen mothers struggle on a daily basis, if you are one of them you should visit a psychoeducational group.
Teen mothers should attend psychoeducational groups because they can teach teen moms parenting skills, social skills, and provide them with the support they need in order to maintain a healthy life style. The group can also include teenage fathers. Psychoeducational groups will work best for this population because it will create a safe place where teenagers can learn parenting skills and have the support of one another. Since each teen is going through the same situation, they will be able to relate to one another and feel understood.
While there are negative consequences for the mother, the infant is also at risk by being born to a teenage mother. One of the most common occurrences is low birth weight. Low birth weight increases the mortality rate. It also has long-term effects such as developmental and cognitive delays. Low birth weight can be caused by the mother’s lack of prenatal care, poor diet and stress. Prior to becoming pregnant, the teen’s bodies are not prepared for the change. Pregnancy takes a toll on the body that most teens are not ready for. When their body is not ready, the baby can witness the negative effects.
The teens need to adopt healthier lifestyles once they become pregnant. They group will provide information about the importance of a healthy diet. They will also be encouraged to seek prenatal care and attend the necessary appointments. By teaching the girls the importance of health care, they will be able to carry it over to their child’s life. The group is clearly for pregnant teens and for teen mothers since they will teach them to take care of themselves before they give birth, that way when they have the baby the teenagers will be able to take ood care of the kids. Lacking these skills is no surprise because the teens were not prepared to become mothers and have a lack of knowledge about child development. In addition, it is important that teens learn parenting skills. The teens need to be taught child care skills in order to better their life and the life of their child. Throughout life, the infant will depend on the parent for the basic needs of life. If the parent is not able to provide, the child will suffer. The group provides them with the support they need to implement the skills.
The types of skills the girls can learn are… Also, teenage mothers are less likely to be responsive to their child, less positive child rearing attitudes, more likely to abuse their children. Learning these skills can decrease this. The stress that comes along with teen parenting is inevitable. It can stem from many aspects of their life such as school, financial responsibilities, and providing a safe environment for their child. Stress can be linked to an increase in psychological problems for the mother and increased birth complications.
Teenage mothers are more prone to developing depression. However, receiving social support can decrease the amount of stress the teen experiences. When the amount of stress is decreases, the risk of birth complications also lowers. It also decreases depressive symptoms post birth. Many teen mothers lack the support they need when they are going through this stage of life. While learning new skills, the teens are also able to gain a new support system. We can define support as the presences of stable human relationships.
The mothers need support because most of them, not all, come from a low socioeconomic status; minority status, urban living, and having single parent. Having a stable human relationship can be hard to find living under these conditions. Therefore, the group is able to provide the mothers with the support they need in order to overcome the obstacles of teen pregnancy. During the teenage years, individuals go through many developmental changes such as identity development, emerging independence, and developing intimate relationships with others.
When adding a baby to the equation, the situation only becomes harder and it puts stress on the development of the teenager. Much of their development is put on hold because of the baby and the need to jump into the mother role when they are not prepared. Therefore, they do not learn how to develop intimate relationships with their peers. In addition to the educational aspect of the group; it can also provide a social network for the girls. They are able to interact with others and learn how to develop intimate relationships.
Since they are all struggling with the same issue, they will find it easier to relate to one another. The mother’s education level is the main predictor of the baby’s life outcome. If the mother does not receive a high school diploma, the chances of living in poverty are increased. The group can educate mothers on alternative ways to obtain a high school diploma. There are many options the teens can use to obtain a high school diploma. One alternative is obtaining a G. E. D. There are also program that allow teens to finish high school in their home.
The most important thing the group can do is encourage the mothers to finish high school and teach them the negative consequences of not finishing high school. Obtaining a well-paying job will be difficult without a high school diploma. The girls will also not be able to continue their education without a high school diploma. Living in poverty can lead to a lack of many necessities of life such as health care. Not having health care can put the baby at risk because they are not receiving routine check-ups.
If they are not able to afford health care, there are many social services that can make health care accessible to them that they may not know about. Teens need to be educated on the methods available in order to prevent having more children. Many teenagers do not use any type of contraceptive during their first sexual experience. The group can offer the girls education about contraceptives and the correct way to use them. Many sexual education courses in the United States promote abstinence. While that would be the desirable result for all teens, it is not always the case.
There are many forms of contraceptives that can be readily available to the girls if they continue to be sexually active. It is important to educate them on this topic so they can avoid having another child. The group offers a neutral environment in which they girls can ask any question they want and offer them information about different types of contraceptives. When helping teenage mothers overcome their struggles, they need to be taught certain skills in order to survive. The psychoeducational group will provide them with the resources they need.
Teenagers will benefit from a group setting over an individual setting. For one, they will be able to engage with other girls who are going through the same thing and they can see that they are not alone. In the individual setting, teenagers may feel singled out or attacked. It can be hard for them to relate to someone who is not in the same situation as them. Also, since teen mothers do not have the time to socialize and develop social skills, the group setting offers them a chance to develop the social skills needed. They will have an interactive experience for the purpose of learning new skills.
While interacting with other people, they will be exposed to new ideas and viewpoints about their situation. Learning how to socialize with others will improve their relationships at home. It can also improve their self-esteem. While learning from the other girls, they can also teach them the strategies they have used. The focus of psychoeducational groups is preventing behaviors and teaching new skills. Therefore, it is not therapy based. This can be beneficial when working with teenagers because therapy can be viewed as a negative thing.
For some cultures, seeking therapy may even be out of the question. If the group is based on developing skills, it takes away from the therapy aspect. Since many of the teen mothers are not ready for motherhood, the group can provide them with the necessary parenting skills they will need to know. By teaching them parenting skills, the girls can be more confident in their parenting abilities. When they know how to appropriately handle a situation, they are less likely to take it out on their children. Also, keeping their stress at a low level will have positive benefits for the parent-child relationship.
The benefits of a psychoeducational group for teen pregnancy are evident. At this age, teens are experiencing many developmental changes and raising a child at the same time can be overwhelming. Since teen pregnancy is becoming more common, it is inevitable that counselors working with adolescences or families will encounter this topic. Once they are taught the right skills needed, they will feel more confident about being a parent. References: 1-Ambul Pediatr (2003). The parenting project for teen mothers: the impact of a nurturing curriculum on adolescent parenting skills and life hassles. ONLINE] Available at: http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pubmed/12974663. 2- Mobley, J, & Fort, S. D. (2007). Planning psycho-educational groups for school. Retrieved August 28,2007 from http://counselingoutfitters. com/vistas/vistas07/Mobley. pdf. 3- Bethany Casarjian (2003). The youth project. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. lionheart. org/youth/youth_landing. 4- Valerie Burgess (2005). Improving Comfort About sex communication between parents and heir adolescents. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. hawaii. edu/hivandaids/Improving_Comfort_About_Sex_Communication_Between_Parents
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