Adolescent pregnancy

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2003 Aug;50(4):781-800, viii. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(03)00069-5.


Teen birth rates have decreased steadily over the past decade, but the United States still has the highest birth rates among all developed countries. Young women who give birth as adolescents are likely to have poor school performance, and come from families with low socioeconomic status, a history of teen pregnancies, and low maternal education. The fathers of babies who are born to teen mothers are likely to be unsuccessful in school, have limited earnings, have high rates of substance use, and have trouble with the law. Infants who are born to teen mothers are at risk for low birth weight and physical neglect and abuse; at school age, these children are more likely than children born to adult women to have trouble with school achievement, and they are at risk for becoming teen mothers or fathers themselves. Programs that are successful in reducing teen birthrates are usually multifactorial and combine comprehensive sexuality education with youth development activities; reduction in repeat pregnancies is associated with home visits by nurses combined with long-acting contraceptive use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Birth Rate / trends*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / psychology
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United States