As discussed in our introduction teenage pregnancy is on the rise. It is an issue now talked about everywhere. One of the discussions on teenage pregnancy focus on what the factors that cause teenage pregnancy are. There is compelling data that suggest there are several strong factors that lead to an increased risk of getting pregnant as a teenager. These risks come from a teenager’s environment and background, as well as individual behavior of a teenager. It is important to note that this research does not say that every teenage girl with these risk factors will get pregnant. The research merely shows that these factors have lead to and increase in teen pregnancy rates. They are often broken down into two categories. Environmental, and Individual factors.
The most studied factor is that of geographic location. Researchers found a correlation between the neighborhoods that teenagers live in and their risk in getting pregnant. It was found in a study by the American Medical Association that” Teens who live in neighborhoods that have high levels of poverty, low levels of education, and high residential turnover are at a higher risk for teen pregnancy”(AMA,7). A similar study found that family factors also contribute to the rising rate of teen pregnancy. These include the income level of the family, as well as the family structure. Teens that were born to teenage parents are also more likely to become teenage parents themselves.
There are also factors that are individual girls, but are harder to study. There has been research that suggests that low self-esteem correlates to having sex earlier and getting pregnant at a younger age. This is harder to study then where you live as a risk factor. Another individual factor is school performance. Students that do poorer in school tend not to be future orientated. This can lead to an increased risk for becoming pregnant as a teenager.
Rebecca, Becca, Courtney, Charda, and Hiroyo
Thought provoking questions:
1) What can be done to curb the link between these factors and the rates of teen pregnancy?
2) Has there been enough research about teen pregnancies that fall outside of these risk factors?
3) Who do we make aware of the factors? Teen? Parents? Girls? Boys?
4) How do we educate people on the risk factors?
Chang, Philip . "National Innitiative on Teen Pregnancy ." American Medical Association Journal . (2003): 6-30. Print.
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