Issues in Adolescence
Juno was released in Canada in 2007 as a comedy-drama program directed by Jason Reitman (“Juno”). Diablo Cody’s film depicts the story of a female character called Juno MacGuff, whose unexpected pregnancy forces her to choose between abortion and fetus removal. The decision has a significant impact on her life in the home and at school. As the film received numerous positive responses, it also depicts contentious and social problems that reflect Canadian aesthetic value, such as an equitable selection of expression life versus professional decision, the result of open sexual relations with children, and the reality of people’s responses (Juno, JUNO film, 26 march 2022). Other vital dimensions, issues, and concepts demonstrated in this film are the adolescents’ increasing levels of autonomy in the family system, social support offered by peers, challenges, risks, and protective factors related to early unplanned pregnancy.
A sexual relationship with children. Juno’s (a teenage girl) sexual relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, is an essential aspect of the film because it focuses on the relationship between adolescents and children. Juno’s choice that favours the fetus harms the children in her family and the family. Mr. MacGuff’s decision after Juno’s pregnancy puts himself and his wife at significant risk because they cannot live their lives without their child. It also affects Juno, who is not as mature as she should be, making this big decision. In addition, Juno affects the social structure due to her actions. Social support offered by peers to adolescents Peer support is an essential aspect of the film since it characterizes the relationship between Juno, Mark and Vanessa. As a group, peers offer support to Juno and Mark that allows them to make decisions in social isolation from their parents.
Juno’s decision to give birth to the fetus rather than abort it provides her with support and strength from her peers, who encourage her to go through all steps of pregnancy. The relationship is also helpful for Juno because it helps her understand what she wants in life. On the other hand, an adolescent’s decision not supported by peers can be damaging and harmful (Juno, JUNO film, 26 march 2022).
Challenges related to early unplanned pregnancy. The film Juno highlights challenges teenage girls may face if they get pregnant. For example, Juno’s mother cannot help her daughter face the situation, and she has to rely on support from friends or family members. Social support from peers or family members is vital for all adolescents since it helps them develop better coping strategies when facing challenges. It is also an advantage for teenagers to access reliable information about sexual relations, contraception, abortion and pregnancy.
Social stigma and shame. Lack of emotional support for both the pregnant teen and her family. Depression due to changes in hormones, which can affect the development of the foetal brain in pregnancy. Low self-esteem is due to feelings of social inadequacy compared with peers who have not been through an early unplanned pregnancy. Mental health issues such as PTSD or suicidal thoughts stemming from sexual abuse or incest during childhood (Stein, 615). These are among the main problems facing adolescents in society, and they tend to affect how they undertake their day-to-day activities.
As depicted in the film Juno, there are other challenges, risks, and protective factors related to an early unplanned pregnancy. The protagonist in the movie Juno, Juno, is a 16-year-old girl who has recently learned that she is pregnant and the father may not be in the picture. Early unplanned pregnancy poses many challenges to both the mother and child. The main challenge for adolescents, including those with an unplanned pregnancy or without parental support, are risks related to their mental health. For example, risky behaviors such as driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs increase the risk of injury during pregnancy and increase the number of early-term pregnancies with low-birth-weight babies, leading to lifetime complications such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, and stroke.
The protective factors involved with an early unplanned pregnancy may include supportive parents and help with decision making during difficult times. Other positive factors include access to prenatal care to ensure healthy growth and development of the fetus, breastfeeding, proper nutrition, physical activity, no smoking or tobacco use, etc., the presence of a support system or group of friends or teachers that encourage good decision making and healthy lifestyle behaviors. Another protective factor would be contraception by the mother, which may protect her against an early unplanned pregnancy that many adolescents may not be prepared for at such a young age (Stein, 619).
Stein, Gabriela L., et al. “The intersection of racial–ethnic socialization and adolescence: A closer examination at stage‐salient issues.” Journal of Research on Adolescence 28.3 (2018): 609-621.
(2022). Retrieved 26 March 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWC-R-q85JU