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Keywords:

  • adolescent parents;
  • adolescent school achievement/failure;
  • National Education Longitudinal Study;
  • transition to parenthood

Past research has largely ignored the influence of material resources on teenage parents’ life outcomes. A lack of resources such as housing, child care, and financial support is hypothesized to explain the negative effect of teenage parenthood on educational attainment. Regression analyses use nationally representative data from the 1988 – 2000 National Education Longitudinal Study (N = 8,432, n = 356 teenage parents). Results support the hypothesis completely for the teenage fathers in the sample and partially for mothers: Resources substantially diminish the educational penalty teenage parents paid by age 26. Gender influences which types of resources are protective, providing policy implications. Help with child care is critical for teenage mothers, whereas housing and financial resources may be important for men.