Science Daily reports three studies I would like to pay attention to:
- Older mothers are better mothers
- Children in single-mother-by-choice families do as well as those in two-parent families
- Effects of teenage motherhood may last multiple generations
The argument in the first study is the greater life experience of older women make them better mothers than younger women. Also older women have usually more stable relationships, are higher educated and have simply more financial resources to raise children.
According to this study children of elder mothers have generally less social or behavioral problems and do better at school. Though there are some medical risks with pregnancies at higher age, this study suggests that the increase of the age women get the first child is in general a positive development.
The second study appears to confirm a hypothesis formulated by Robin Baker in his book The Future of Sex that the financial position and the availability of single parents is what matters. The study shows that single-mothers-by-choice usually have social support network to help them with raising their children.
This study also affirms Baker’s position that there is a difference between single-parent who choose be a single-parent and those who become on as result of a relationship break-up. The latter has in general a negative impact on children.
The numerical dominance of the latter group gives single-motherhood a negative image. However, if the number of single-parents-by-choice will rise, this will likely change for the better.
The third study supplements the first and shows that the negative effects of teenage pregnancy affect later generations too.
Government policy should make effective and affordable contraception widely available to decrease the number of unwanted (teenage) pregnancies.