Teen Pregnancy

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Teen pregnancy is a societal concern and has been seen as an urgent social problem in the United States since the 1970s (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998). Among developed countries, the United States ranks first in rates of both adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (Stanger-Hall & Hall, 2001). American adolescents and adolescents of other industrialized countries do not have very different patterns of sexual activity, however American teenagers’ contraception use is less consistent and effective (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998). Nearly 50% of sexually transmitted diseases are acquired by young men and women aged 15 to 24 (Satterwhite et al., 2013). While teenage childbearing has decreased significantly in the past century, there has been an increased rate of sexual activity, illegitimacy, and welfare receipt that raises public concerns (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998).
Teenage pregnancy leads to a plethora of negative consequences for both mother and child. Educational effects include lower academic achievement and lower graduation rates (Coley & Chase-Lansdale, 1998). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], only about 50% of teen mothers will receive a high school diploma by the age of twenty-two (“Reproductive Health”, 2017). This is significantly lower than the 90% of women who earn a high school diploma by age twenty-two and do not have a child in their adolescent years (CDC, “Reproductive Health”,2017). Teenage mothers

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