Researchers from the Institute of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder looked into the psychology of teenage pregnancy. They used data from two large, long-term U.S. surveys that followed thousands of teenaged girls and women. The researchers measured psychological distress by asking the participants how often they found things bothersome that would not normally affect them; how easily they could shake off feeling down and whether they had trouble concentrating. They found that poverty and psychological distress were good predictors of teenage pregnancy i.e. they already existed before the girls became pregnant. Other studies have shown high levels of depression among teenage mothers but this is the first to show that they may be suffering psychologically before they become pregnant.
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