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JAMA. 1989 Jul 7;262(1):78-82.

The prevention of adolescent pregnancy.

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  • 1Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of Rochester (NY) Medical Center.


Adolescent pregnancy is best prevented. Prevention, however, is problematic, because adolescents become biologically mature at an earlier age today than in past generations. Most adolescents are still psychologically immature when they initiate sexual activity. Delayed initiation of sexual activity during adolescence, therefore, is the ideal solution. Physicians are an important resource in encouraging responsible sexual behavior and preventing adolescent pregnancy and in guiding the patient and her family when adolescent pregnancy does occur. Physicians can provide age-appropriate contraceptive services and adolescent prenatal and postpartum services. They can also participate actively in community-based sex and family life educational programs as knowledgeable and respected sources of information and guidance.

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