A higher proportion of young women whohad been teen mothers earned a GED (15percent) than did their counterparts whohad not experienced a teen birth(5 percent).
One in three (34 percent) young women whohad been teen mothers, however, earned
a diploma or a GED, compared withonly 6 percent of young women who had nothad a teen birth.
Younger teen mothers are less likely thanolder teen mothers to earn a diploma.
Young women who gave birth before theage of 18 (traditionally the age at which anadolescent completes high school) were farless likely than were those who gave birthbetween the ages of 18 and 19 to earn a highschool diploma. Among young women whohad a child before the age of 18, only 38percent earned a high school diploma bythe age of 22, compared with 60 percent of those who were 18 or 19 at the time thatthey had their first child (Figure 2).
Young women who gave birth as a youngerteen were more likely than those who gavebirth as an older teen to earn a GED. Almostone in five (19 percent) young women whohad a child before the age of 18 earned aGED, compared with 13 percent of those whowere between the ages of 18 and 19 whenthey first gave birth. Nevertheless, young women in the younger age group were lesslikely than were those who gave birth at18 or 19 to have earned any educationalcredential by the age of 22. Specifically, 43percent of young women who were underthe age of 18 when they first gave birth hadearned neither a diploma nor a GED by theage of 22, compared with 27 percent of young women who were between the ages of 18 and19 when they first became mothers and only6 percent of young women who did not havea child in their teen years.
Some teen mothers attain credentials after aschool-age birth.
Some young women who had a child beforethe age of 18 earned a diploma or GED afterthe child was born.
For these women, aslightly higher proportion earned a GED thanearned a high school diploma between theages of 18 and 22 (see Figure 3). Specifically,the proportion earning a high school diplomarose 7 percentage points between the agesof 19 (31 percent) and 22 (38 percent). Incomparison, the proportion earning a GEDrose by 9 percentage points—from 10 percentbefore the age of 19 to 19 percent before theage of 22. Thus, almost one-half of formerteen mothers who completed a GED did soafter the age of 18.
Black teen mothers are more likely thanHispanic or white teen mothers to earn adiploma/GED by age 22.
Teen childbearing is more prevalent among black and Hispanic teens than among whiteteens. In our sample, 31 percent of blackwomen and 28 percent of Hispanic womengave birth before the age of 20, comparedwith 15 percent of white women (analysesnot shown).
Black women who gave birth as teens weremore likely to earn a high school diploma orGED by the age of 22 than were their white
© 2010 Child Trends
Total, 57%Total, 73%
GED, 19%GED, 13%Diploma, 38%Diploma, 60%
Birth before age 18Birth at ages 18-19
Diploma/GED AttainmentBefore Age 22, by Ageat First Birth
Before 20Before 21Before 22
Cumulative Percent AttainingDiploma/GED By Select Ages Among Those Who Had ATeen Birth Before Age 18
Source: Child Trends’ analyses of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth—1997 CohortSource: Child Trends’ analyses of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth—1997 Cohort