Parenting in young adulthood is an experience unlike any other. As we know, it is the stage of life from childhood to early adulthood wherein many physiological, mental, and emotional changes occur. To understand how these changes in the body, and subsequent changes in the behavior result in parenting in young adults, we will first discuss peer relationships. Then, we will consider some of the difficult challenges that parents have faced as they try to guide their children through this transition. Finally, we will examine the role that medical research and other professionals are now beginning to address in parenting in young adults.
About Parenting In Young Adults
Recent studies indicate that the transition into early parenthood is associated with lower measures of well-being and higher rates of poor health, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy. The challenges experienced by parents in this time of rapid change are consistent with findings from several domains of science. For instance, parenting in young adults has been linked with increased rates of anxiety and depression; poor parental coping skills and low self-esteem; lower academic achievement and increased behavioral problems; higher rates of teenage pregnancy; lower cognitive and verbal skills; higher rates of substance abuse; lower positive associations with peers; and lower high school dropout rates.
In terms of biology, the biological underpinnings of this transition to early Parenthood are complicated. First, there is the onset of puberty and sexual identity development. Puberty is associated with both sexual orientation and gender identity development. Moreover, during this transition period, hormonal levels rise and peak, causing both developmental and biological changes. Thus, there are potentially biological differences between sexual orientation and gender identity development. Additionally, studies show a negative association between early adoption of the sex-specific child category, and later sex-specific adoption, in both boys and girls.
During pregnancy, many of the challenges faced by young adults in becoming parents are compounded. Participants commonly experienced financial stress; the inability to maintain employment, transportation, adequate housing, and food security; increased risks of substance abuse and depression; and inadequate social support. Many of these situations were present for participants’ prior family experiences and were common occurrences when they became pregnant. Moreover, many of the same problems faced by those who have young children now become magnified with the added burden of caring for a newborn or young child. The added stress on cash and credit availability can exacerbate already existing issues.
Gender Role Definitions
Gender role definitions also play a significant role in the transition to parenting. On one hand, many gender specialists, medical professionals, and advocates argue that traditional gender roles do not facilitate healthy parenting. In line with this, the practice of “boy-girl” or “girl-boy” modeling has gained popularity. There is also an increasing trend of parent/child gender division, which are evident in terms of educational opportunities, family laws, healthcare, and incarceration. In a similar vein, many people argue that traditional gender roles do not align with an individual’s potential for personal and spiritual growth.
Many of the potential causes for the recent rise in teenage pregnancy are complicated. Some researchers note that societal changes have led to greater numbers of young adults becoming single parents. Other experts note that high school dropouts, earlier marriage, low parental involvement, and increased access to drugs have all contributed to the increased rates of teenage pregnancy. Still other researchers note that economic factors such as unemployment, the difficulty of obtaining a mortgage or other loan, the presence of natural disasters, the availability of low-cost health care, and the prevalence of poverty are all likely culprits in the rising rate of teenage pregnancy. While these factors certainly deserve some attention, it is important to remember that there are a number of other factors which impact pregnancy rates.
Process Of Parenting In Young Adults
The current study contributes new insight into the process of Parenting in Young Adults. The authors identify several key elements which contribute to the increasing pregnancy rates among females. The factors identified include social, cultural, economic, and physical environment, as well as personal characteristics and family norms. The study finds that parental awareness and attitudes toward child rearing are associated with higher pregnancy rates among mothers and their offspring.