Other Free Encyclopedias » Social Issues Reference » Child Development Reference - Vol 8 » Teenage Pregnancy - Incidence Of Teenage Pregnancy, Teenage Pregnancy And Later Outcomes, Public Policy And Teenage Pregnancy

Teenage Pregnancy - Public Policy And Teenage Pregnancy

national statistics health center

Just as there is a lack of consensus about the consequences of teenage pregnancy, the optimal focus for public policy and intervention is also in dispute. Some experts reason that because the disadvantaged circumstances in which many women grow up are a predominant factor impacting teen birth rates, policies and programs would be most effectively directed at ameliorating that disadvantage and developing positive life options for young women. Others, however, maintain that in the absence of conclusive research findings to the contrary, targeted interventions such as the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy initiated in 1996 have potential benefits and should continue to be pursued.

It is clear that teenage pregnancy fell steadily over the 1990s in the United States, with reductions seen for each of the three pregnancy outcomes (live births, induced abortions, and fetal losses). The National Center for Health Statistics noted several concurrent trends related to teen pregnancy rates over this period. First, rates of sexual activity among teenagers appear to have stabilized and perhaps declined, as measured by teens' responses in several national surveys. In addition, increases have been reported in condom use and in the availability and adoption of other effective birth control methods including injectable and implantable contraceptives. These behavioral trends may well have been influenced by educational and contraceptive-related intervention programs; however, it is also important to note that they occurred during a period of remarkable, sustained economic expansion. This expansion increased the opportunities available to teenagers, making higher educational and occupational goals more desirable and attainable and in the process providing a powerful impetus for behavior change.

Bibliography

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East, Patricia, and Leanne Jacobson. "Adolescent Childbearing, Poverty, and Siblings: Taking New Direction from the New Literature." Family Relations 49 (2000):287-292.

Geronimus, Arline, and Sanders Korenman. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered." Quarterly Journal of Economics 107 (1992):1187-1214.

Geronimus, Arline, and Sanders Korenman. "Maternal Youth or Family Background? On the Health Disadvantages of Infants with Teen Mothers." American Journal of Epidemiology 137 (1993):213-225.

Geronimus, Arline, Sanders Korenman, and Marianne Hillemeier."Does Young Maternal Age Adversely Affect Child Development? Evidence from Cousin Comparisons in the United States." Population and Development Review 20 (1994):585-609.

Hoffman, Saul. "Teenage Childbearing Is Not So Bad After All…Or Is It? A Review of the New Literature." Family Planning Perspectives 30 (1998):236-249.

Hotz, V. Joseph, Susan McElroy, and Seth Sanders. "The Impacts of Teenage Childbearing on the Mothers and the Consequences of Those Impacts for Government." In Rebecca A. Maynard ed., Kids Having Kids. Washington DC: Urban Institute Press, 1997.

Moore, Kristin, Donna Morrison, and Angela Greene. "Effects on the Children Born to Adolescent Mothers." In Rebecca Maynard ed., Kids Having Kids. Washington DC: Urban Institute Press, 1997.

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"Recent Accomplishments of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy." Available from http://www.teenpregnancy.org/accom.htm; INTERNET

Ventura, Stephanie J., and Mary Anne Freedman. "Teenage Child-bearing in the United States, 1960-1997." American Journal of Preventive Medicine 19(1S) (2000):18-25.

Ventura, Stephanie J., Joyce A. Martin, Sally C. Curtin, T. J. Mathews, and M. M. Park. "Births: Final Data for 1998." National Vital Statistics Reports 48 (3). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Ventura, Stephanie J., William Mosher, Sally C. Curtin, Joyce Abma, and Stanley Henshaw. "Trends in Pregnancies and Pregnancy Rates by Outcome: Estimates for the United States, 1976-96." Vital and Health Statistics 21 (56). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Marianne M. Hillemeier

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