Special Issue "Adolescent Pregnancy: Past, Present and Future Trends and Issues"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2016).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Naomi Farber
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, 902 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Interests: adolescent pregnancy and parenting; high-risk sexual activity; family formation and poverty

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The special issue will provide a forum for leading scholars to examine theoretical insights and empirical findings associated with the recent decline in adolescent pregnancy and childbearing internationally, with special attention to the United States. This recent shift in the incidence of adolescent fertility is notable in its consistency and magnitude; at the same time, however, continuing historic disparities require focused attention on the contemporary meaning of early childbearing in the U.S. as well as across the globe.

This issue will contribute to interdisciplinary literature, focusing on: demographic trends in adolescent fertility; successful intervention approaches and major “lessons learned” regarding primary pregnancy prevention; identification of key theoretical issues associated with these trends, with particular focus on the existence and meaning of disparities and their implications for youth development and wellbeing.

Dr. Naomi Farber
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • adolescent pregnancy
  • adolescent childbearing
  • poverty
  • high-risk sexual behavior
  • youth development

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Adolescent Pregnancy: Past, Present and Future Trends and Issues
Societies 2016, 6(4), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6040032 - 28 Oct 2016
Abstract
The dramatic overall decrease in rates of pregnancies and births to American teenagers over the last few decades should be counted among contemporary success stories in systematic efforts to reduce bio-psychosocial risks to youth.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Reconsidering Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood
Societies 2016, 6(4), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6040033 - 01 Nov 2016
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper looks back at the findings reported in Destinies of the Disadvantaged: The Politics of Teenage Parenthood, a decade after its publication in light of recent research. Increasingly, the most methodologically sophisticated research has minimized the “causal impact” of early childbearing [...] Read more.
This paper looks back at the findings reported in Destinies of the Disadvantaged: The Politics of Teenage Parenthood, a decade after its publication in light of recent research. Increasingly, the most methodologically sophisticated research has minimized the “causal impact” of early childbearing on later life events consistent with the findings of the Baltimore Study. I argue in the paper that we must see early childbearing primarily as a marker rather than a cause of economic disadvantage. As such, reducing early childbearing will have a minimal impact on the lives of highly disadvantaged teens unless those teens use the delay in childbearing to improve their education and labor market prospects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Teenage Pregnancy and Mental Health
Societies 2016, 6(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6030021 - 27 Jul 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
This article reviews the intersection between adolescent pregnancy and mental health. The research involving mental health risks for adolescent pregnancy and for parents who are teenagers are discussed. Depression and conduct disorder have emerged with the most attention. Research-based treatment of these disorders [...] Read more.
This article reviews the intersection between adolescent pregnancy and mental health. The research involving mental health risks for adolescent pregnancy and for parents who are teenagers are discussed. Depression and conduct disorder have emerged with the most attention. Research-based treatment of these disorders in adolescents is presented. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Factors Associated with Teen Pregnancy in Vietnam: Results from Two National Surveys
Societies 2016, 6(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6020017 - 03 May 2016
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study asked two broad questions: (1) what is the prevalence of teen pregnancy in contemporary Vietnam; and (2) what selected social, family, and individual factors are associated with teen pregnancy in Vietnam? The study utilized Vietnam Survey Assessment of Vietnamese Youth surveys [...] Read more.
This study asked two broad questions: (1) what is the prevalence of teen pregnancy in contemporary Vietnam; and (2) what selected social, family, and individual factors are associated with teen pregnancy in Vietnam? The study utilized Vietnam Survey Assessment of Vietnamese Youth surveys conducted in 2003 and 2008 to answer the two research questions within the context of fast political, economic, and social change in Vietnam in the last two decades. Results of this study show that the prevalence of pregnancy among Vietnamese teenagers in the surveys was stable at 4%, or 40 pregnancies per 1000 adolescent girls aged 14 to 19. Age, experience of domestic violence, and early sexual debut were positively correlated with higher odds of teenage pregnancy for both survey cohorts; however, being an ethnic minority, educational attainment, sexual education at school, Internet use, and depressive symptoms were significantly related to teenage pregnancy only in the 2008 cohort. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Predicting Youths’ Adherence to Treatment and Retention in Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Interventions
Societies 2016, 6(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6020009 - 01 Apr 2016
Abstract
Internal and external validity are threatened when subjects fail to complete an intervention and when they are lost at follow-ups. Accordingly, researchers and intervention staff continually strive to identify predictors of attrition and non-compliance. The present study investigated the success of models that [...] Read more.
Internal and external validity are threatened when subjects fail to complete an intervention and when they are lost at follow-ups. Accordingly, researchers and intervention staff continually strive to identify predictors of attrition and non-compliance. The present study investigated the success of models that incorporate program, family, and individual characteristic variables in predicting treatment adherence and retention at six months in a sample of 1319 youth who participated in an abstinence-only intervention, as well as the relative importance of the predictors in explaining retention and adherence among Hispanic and non-Hispanic youth. The findings indicated that the likelihood of completing the intervention was greater for youths whose mothers or someone who functioned as a mother did not work. The effect of this predictor was consistent across all models in which it was tested. In addition, youth who planned to have sex were more likely to withdraw from the intervention than were youth for whom the opposite was true. Youth satisfaction with the intervention successfully predicted the likelihood of completion. Retention at six months was influenced by youth completing the intervention, having a non-working mother, and being satisfied with the program. Results from the discriminant analyses suggested that the predictors varied in importance for Hispanics and non-Hispanics. For Hispanics, having a non-working mother and satisfaction with the intervention were critical to their decisions to complete the intervention and to return for the six-month follow-up. For non-Hispanics, parental attitudes regarding sex, youths’ intentions to have sex, and youths’ gender were significant predictors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Linking Changes in Contraceptive Use to Declines in Teen Pregnancy Rates
Societies 2016, 6(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc6010001 - 24 Dec 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
Using a unique microsimulation tool, Teen FamilyScape, the present study explores how changes in the mix of contraceptive methods used by teens contributed to the decline in the U.S. teen pregnancy rate between 2002 and 2010. Results indicate that changes in contraceptive use [...] Read more.
Using a unique microsimulation tool, Teen FamilyScape, the present study explores how changes in the mix of contraceptive methods used by teens contributed to the decline in the U.S. teen pregnancy rate between 2002 and 2010. Results indicate that changes in contraceptive use contributed to approximately half of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate during this time period (48%) and that a little more than half of this “contraceptive effect” was due to an increase in teen condom use (58%). The remaining share of the contraceptive effect can be attributed to an increase in the use of more effective hormonal (pill, patch, ring) and long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC)/injectable methods (Intrauterine Devices (IUD), implant and injectable). Results from an additional counterfactual analysis suggest that the contraceptive effect was driven by the fact that the percentage of teens using no birth control fell during the study time period, rather than by the fact that some teens switched from less effective methods (condoms) to more effective hormonal and LARC/injectable methods. However, very high typical use failure rates for teen condom users suggest the need for a two-pronged approach for continuing reductions in teen pregnancy for sexually active teens: first, targeting the youth most at risk of not using contraception and helping them choose contraception, and second, increasing the effectiveness of method use among existing contraceptors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Has Adolescent Childbearing Been Eclipsed by Nonmarital Childbearing?
Societies 2015, 5(4), 734-743; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc5040734 - 28 Oct 2015
Cited by 1
Abstract
Adolescent childbearing has received decreasing attention from academics and policymakers in recent years, which may in part reflect the decline in its incidence. Another reason may be its uncoupling from nonmarital childbearing. Adolescent childbearing became problematized only when it began occurring predominantly outside [...] Read more.
Adolescent childbearing has received decreasing attention from academics and policymakers in recent years, which may in part reflect the decline in its incidence. Another reason may be its uncoupling from nonmarital childbearing. Adolescent childbearing became problematized only when it began occurring predominantly outside marriage. In recent decades, there have been historic rises in the rate of nonmarital childbearing, and importantly, the rise has been steeper among older mothers than among adolescent mothers. Today, two out of five births are to unmarried women, and the majority of these are to adults, not adolescents. Nonmarital childbearing is in and of itself associated with lower income and poorer maternal and child outcomes. However, unmarried adolescent mothers might face more difficulties than unmarried adult mothers due to their developmental status, education, living arrangements, and long-term prospects for work. If this is true, then the focus on adolescent mothers ought to continue. We suggest several facets of adolescent motherhood deserving of further study, and recommend that future research use unmarried mothers in their early 20s as a realistic comparison group. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Call to Action: Developing and Strengthening New Strategies to Promote Adolescent Sexual Health
Societies 2015, 5(4), 686-712; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc5040686 - 05 Oct 2015
Cited by 6
Abstract
Through considerable efforts and investments of resources, adolescent pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have decreased significantly over the past two decades. Nonetheless, large disparities persist for many populations of youth. Reducing unintended adolescent pregnancies is considered a “winnable public health [...] Read more.
Through considerable efforts and investments of resources, adolescent pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have decreased significantly over the past two decades. Nonetheless, large disparities persist for many populations of youth. Reducing unintended adolescent pregnancies is considered a “winnable public health battle,” but one that will require innovative thinking and continued persistence. This paper reviews the recent research literature and innovative programmatic efforts to identify six promising strategies that address the challenge of adolescent pregnancy in new ways. These strategies aim to: (1) understand and address the complexity of adolescent lives; (2) expand the provision of quality sexual health education; (3) engage youth through technology and media; (4) increase access to contraceptives and other sexual health services; (5) create tailored interventions for populations with special needs; and (6) create a supportive policy environment. By building upon lessons learned from past efforts, we can move the field toward the development, strengthening, and promotion of future strategies that enhance the sexual well-being of all adolescents. Full article
Open AccessReview
Teen Childbearing and Economics: A Short History of a 25-Year Research Love Affair
Societies 2015, 5(3), 646-663; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc5030646 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
Despite its apparent distance from the core topics of economics, economists have been attracted to, and deeply engaged in, research about teen fertility for more than a quarter century. Research has focused on two broad, interrelated issues: the socio-economic consequences of a teen [...] Read more.
Despite its apparent distance from the core topics of economics, economists have been attracted to, and deeply engaged in, research about teen fertility for more than a quarter century. Research has focused on two broad, interrelated issues: the socio-economic consequences of a teen birth and the socio-economic causes of a teen birth. In researching these issues, economists have drawn on and extended basic concepts in economic theory and in applied statistical research. I review those literatures for a non-economist audience and conclude that the research love affair has substantially benefited both parties, although definitive answers to causes and consequences are still elusive. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Evaluating Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs: Decades of Evolving Strategies and Practices
Societies 2015, 5(3), 631-645; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc5030631 - 08 Sep 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper reviews the changing strategies for both process and outcome evaluations of teen pregnancy prevention programs over the past few decades. Implementation evaluations have emphasized discovery of what program attributes are most effective in reducing teen pregnancy and its antecedents. Outcome evaluations [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the changing strategies for both process and outcome evaluations of teen pregnancy prevention programs over the past few decades. Implementation evaluations have emphasized discovery of what program attributes are most effective in reducing teen pregnancy and its antecedents. Outcome evaluations have moved from collecting data to measure knowledge, attitudes, and program satisfaction to measuring behavior change including postponement of sexual involvement, increased used of contraception, or reduction in teen pregnancy. High quality randomized control trials or quasi-experimental designs are being increasingly emphasized, as are sophisticated analysis techniques using multi-variate analyses, controls for cluster sampling, and other strategies designed to build a more solid knowledge base about how to prevent early pregnancy. Full article
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