Besides the negative social implications of giving birth during the early stages of your life, a study shows that having a child before the age of 24 negatively impacts health at 40 as well. The study was carried out by WebMD and it compared the general well-being of women around the age of 40 when in the first group, the child was born between 15 and 24 years and the second group between 25 and 35.
The study group was monitored between 1979 and 2008 and it encompassed over 3.000 female subjects. The connection between health assessments and single parents was not made at all. But in the case of African-American women, if marriage occurs after the child was born, their health will degrade upon reaching 40, in comparison to those that chose to remain single.
This link between marriage and health is created by stress-related issues. By searching for a suitable partner, from both economic and social points of view, while having a child, the risk of having stress related disorders and diseases increases exponentially. This may come as good news for single African-American women that were told by countless groups how marriage leads to better health.
The process of advertising marriage towards single parents in the US has remained more or less moot. The rates of marriage across the country have not suffered from any increases or decreases over the past few years, a fact that may prove to be beneficial towards certain social groups.
The findings of this study may negatively impact the current efforts towards marriage promotion, given the fact that in some cases, getting married may affect your health in a negative way. This is especially viable when talking about women that had their child before the age of 18 due the numerous social factors that target teen moms.
Another common belief that this study attacks is the notion that women should wait at least until the age of 20 before they think about having a child. This concept is completely debunked by the study because it shows how women between the age of 20 and 24 suffer from the same decrease in health.
Nonetheless, it is worth noting that this study does not include other elements like diseases and various events that may happen in the mother’s life before the age of 40. It is also based on personal health evaluations, more akin to a general state of being instead of a conclusive medical examination. As with every correlation-type study, these findings should be taken with a grain of salt.
Even so, the claim that having a child before the age of 24 negatively impacts health at 40 as well will more or less influence women’s decision when discussing the topic of having a baby. If further scientific inquiries will be made on the subject, as well as studies made in a more or less controlled environment, this finding may be proven to be completely correct. It all boils down to the individual’s choice, with studies like these only hinting at the possible health problems that may or may not arise when having a baby at a young age.