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Fam Plann Perspect. 1989 Jul-Aug;21(4):164-9, 187.

Effects of a comprehensive program for teenage parents: five years after project redirection.

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Humanalysis, Inc., Saratoga Springs, New York.


A fifth-year follow-up of teenage mothers who had enrolled in Project Redirection, a comprehensive program of services for pregnant and parenting teenagers, revealed many long-term benefits of the program. Administered when the young mothers were, on average, 22 years old, the follow-up found that program participants had better employment records, higher average earnings and lower rates of welfare dependency than a comparison group of similar young mothers who had not enrolled in Project Redirection. Moreover, participants had higher scores on a test of parenting, were more likely to have breastfed their infants and were more likely to have registered their children in Head Start. The children of the Project Redirection participants (whose average age was five and one-half) were better off than their comparison-group counterparts in terms of cognitive, social and emotional development. The two groups of young mothers were similar in terms of their educational attainment after five years, but differences in fertility were observed. Although the two groups had experienced similar numbers of pregnancies, Project Redirection participants were less likely to have terminated a pregnancy by means of induced abortion, and as a result had had a higher average number of live births. The economic status of women who were able to limit their child-bearing was generally more favorable than for those who were not able to do so, but participation in Project Redirection was associated with improved employment outcomes and greater self-sufficiency among all of the women, regardless of the size of their family.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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