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While we can wish that pregnancy was not a part of the high school experience, for too many teens, it is. Teen mothers are the most visible players, yet they are not the only people affected by this issue. How do the teenage boys we teach experience this life-altering event?
Relatively little is known about teen fathers. Child Trends' latest research brief, The Characteristics and Circumstances of Teen Fathers: At the Birth of Their First Child and Beyond, presents a statistical portrait of teen fathers' characteristics at the time that their first child was born; their relationship status at the birth of that child; their subsequent experience fathering a child, if any; and their residential status at birth and in young adulthood. Among the findings:
- Most young men (66 percent) who fathered a child during their teens were 18 or 19 years old at their first birth.
- Two-thirds (66 percent) of the men who had been teen fathers were not living with a spouse or partner at the time of their first child's birth.
- Forty-four percent of teen fathers lived with their first child at the time the child was born, whereas 56 percent of teen fathers were not living with their child at the time of birth.
- Among former teen fathers who were living with their first child at birth, 62 percent were still living with that child by the time they reached their early twenties. However, among former teen fathers who did not live with their first child at birth, only 28 percent were living with that child by the time they reached their early twenties.
Nearly one-half of men who fathered a child as a teen went on to have other children (32 percent had a second child while 17 percent had three or more children) by the time they were in their early twenties.