The Washington Post asked two experts on teen-age pregnancy to comment on the issues raised in this series of reports. HARRIETTE PIPES McADOO
McAdoo, 45, is professor of research at Howard University's School of Social Work, studying teen-age pregnancy in Washington.
On the mother's reaction to a daughter's pregnancy: "Many (women) are very resentful (when their daughters give birth). They think, 'Finally, I'm almost through with my child, and then here you are, bringing another child in for me to raise.' (They feel) a lot of rage and anger that the girl has messed up. Particularly if the (woman) herself (was a teen-age mother). The hopes were that her daughter would be able to do a little better. And here she makes the same dumb mistake."
On whether teen-agers imitate the behavior of others: "We still don't know the impact on young girls who go to school and maybe 75 percent of the girls have babies in the neighborhood." The message becomes "that is what a woman does. At a certain age, she has a baby." JOYCE LADNER
Joyce Ladner, 42, is professor of sociology at Howard University's School of Social Work, researching teen-age pregnancy in Washington. She chaired Mayor Barry's Blue Ribbon Panel on Teenage Pregnancy Prevention.
On the importance of self-esteem: "(A poor, black girl has) few if any opportunities to achieve a sense of self-worth through education, through employment, through positive interaction in her home. Then she has a young man who comes along and treats her in a very positive way . . . . She feels she has very little else to offer or nothing else to offer except her body, so she gives her body in exchange for him treating her nice. The length of treatment doesn't matter as much as the fact that he comes along and makes her feel that she's somebody. If she has low self-esteem and he tells her she's pretty, that may be so important to her."