A Saint Louis University study is rebutting the widely held belief that all teenagers who have babies face a future of dismal failure.

Earlier studies exaggerated the long-term negative consequences associated with teenage mothering, said Lee SmithBattle, a professor of nursing at Saint Louis University.

SmithBattle was the principal investigator in a qualitative study that analyzed the experiences of teenage mothers a dozen years after they had given birth to their first child.

This study and several others show that teen mothers fare better over time than our assumptions suggest, she says.

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