Human Services Essay

Submitted By Missnaturale
Words: 1049
Pages: 5

Human Services for Adolescents During the year of 2013, teenage pregnancy has been observed with rising trends. It is estimated that 89% of these births resulted in non-marital teenage relationships. It was also noted in 2013 that one out of six births was among those 15-19 years females who had already babies. In order to address the social concerns emerged due to teenage pregnancies, the Office of Adolescent Health has developed "Pregnancy Assistance Fund" in order to assist these teenage couples both financially and to provide them with healthcare support along with family housing needs. This fund also provides services for those teenage pregnant women who were subject to domestic abuse. This fund also provides assistance to young teenage fathers for receiving their higher education and career goals (Office of Adolescent Health, 2014). The growing incidence of teenage pregnancy and increased sexual indulgence among adolescents is a matter of great concern for social, political, economic, welfare and health institutions. The rising numbers of teenage mothers points to a disturbing trend in family life where more and more children are being born out of wedlock, to individuals who are neither physically, cognitively or financially capable of raising a child. While the ill effects of single parents on children’s behavior is seen most clearly in emotional, mental and intellectual development of children, the effect of lone parenthood on the sexual behavior of such children is also a matter of great concern. Adolescents who come from lone parent households are more prone to sexually risky behavior and according to Farber, “the overall risk of adolescent girls conceiving and of boys impregnating a girl is higher in single parent families, whether the parents have been divorced, separated or were never married.” (2003) The parental role in risky adolescent sexual behavior points to a trend towards generational continuance of such behavior. It is also interesting to note that it is the family structure of lone parent households, where adolescents are deprived of adequate role model and disciplining figures that leads them to engage in dangerous sexual activity.
While the parental factor is an important determinant in the sexual behavior of adolescents, there are several other environmental and social factors which influence the way in which teenagers behave sexually. According to the study by S. Marie Harvey and Clarence Spigner (1995), titled Factors associated with sexual behavior among adolescents: a multivariate analysis, it was found that sexually active male students were more likely to exhibit other negative behaviors such as alcohol abuse, high levels of stress and a propensity to engage in physical fights.
Among sexually active females it was found that such females were more prone to alcohol and cigarette abuse and exhibited high levels of stress apart from risky sexual behavior. This study seeks to show the multiple factors leading to sexual intercourse among a sample group of male and female adolescents, made of 1026 students attending school in the Pacific Northwest. The study used three broad categories of variables, which were hypothesized, as “demographic characteristics, personal variables, and problem or risk-taking behaviors.” (255) The study found that the averages of sexual behavior in the sample population was similar to the national average and it also revealed that alcohol consumption was related to early onset of sexual activity, thereby establishing correlation between various risky behaviors. Dangerous sexual behavior among adolescents who come from single-parent families is also explored by J. Owusu – Bempah (1995) in the article Information about the absent parent as a factor in the well-being of children of single-parent families. The author makes the assertion that the kind of information that is supplied to a child about the absent parent has a direct bearing upon the behavioral, cognitive…