This booklet examines facts on adolescent pregnancy and describes the effectiveness of various community-level programs developed over the past 20 years to reduce adolescent pregnancy and related outcomes. An overview of the situation is provided, examining the scope of the problem in the U.S., who is becoming pregnant, and their marital status. Trends in rates of adolescent pregnancy, adolescent births, and out-of- wedlock births are examined, noting that while both pregnancy and birth rates dropped in recent years, they remain high. An analysis of these trends is provided, examining adolescent sexual activity and marriage rates, marriage patterns, sexual norms, contraceptive practices, availability of abortion, and the size and composition of the teenage population. Consequences of adolescent pregnancy are examined, looking at likeliness of completing high school, earning potential, susceptibility to ending up on welfare, birth weight, school performance, and potential for abuse and neglect. Recommendations are provided, focusing on basic messages, research findings, community innovation, conflict management, and national leadership. Twenty-one figures with sources; 63 references (end notes).
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Whatever Happened to Childhood? The Problem of Teen Pregnancy in the United States.