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Curr Opin Pediatr. 1997 Aug;9(4):310-6.

Teenage pregnancy prevention programs.

Author information

1
Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Teen pregnancy is a multifaceted problem closely connected to economic, education, social, cultural, and political factors. Adolescents in the United States have the highest pregnancy rates in the Western world. Teen parenthood is associated with discontinued or delayed education, reduced employment opportunities, low wages, unstable marriages, and prolonged welfare dependency. Prevention of teen pregnancy has become an important national agenda. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of teen pregnancy prevention programs and strategies and to highlight some of the most promising interventions.

PIP:

Adolescent pregnancy in the US is a multifaceted problem closely related to economic, educational, social, cultural, and political factors. Teen parenthood is associated with discontinued or delayed education, reduced employment opportunities, lowered wages, unstable marriages, and prolonged welfare dependence. This paper reviews 17 of 23 teen pregnancy prevention programs and strategies identified as effective by the US Institute of Medicine and the Program Archive on Sexuality, Health, and Adolescence. Reviewed are both primary prevention programs aimed at postponing first intercourse and secondary prevention programs seeking to encourage consistent contraceptive use among sexually active teens. Changes in behaviors known to lead to pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease transmission, not changes simply in knowledge and attitudes, have emerged as the standard criterion of program effectiveness. No single curriculum or strategy is universally effective. Required are comprehensive, multidisciplinary efforts tailored to the unique needs of specific subgroups of adolescents. Features of successful programs include strong one-on-one support from a responsible adult; attention to basic cognitive and workplace-related skills; attention to specific skills required to prevent pregnancy; involvement of community members, to ensure culturally relevant interventions; a focus on peer influences; and use of interventions that reach very young people, before the onset of sexual activity.

PMID:
9300186
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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