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Home arrow Report Categories arrow Health arrow Emerging Answers 2007, Preventing Teen Pregnancy

Emerging Answers 2007, Preventing Teen Pregnancy

Report - Health
January 03 2008

Emerging Answers 2007, by researcher Douglas Kirby, Ph.D, Asiaing.comEmerging Answers 2007, by researcher Douglas Kirby, Ph.D., is the most comprehensive review to date of evaluation research that answers the question, what programs work to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs

Forward: The United States has made extraordinary progress in reducing teen pregnancy and birth rates. More teens are delaying sex and those that are sexually active are using contraception more consistently and carefully. Both of these developments have made important contributions to the impressive decline in teen pregnancy and childbearing.

Recent years have also brought good news on the research front. As Doug Kirby so carefully points out in Emerging Answers 2007, the quality and quantity of evaluation research in this field has improved dramatically and there is now more persuasive evidence than ever before that a limited number of programs can delay sexual activity, improve contraceptive use among sexually active teens, and/or prevent teen pregnancy. Of course, this is a very welcome development for all of us who care about the well-being of young people and the next generation of children who deserve to be raised by adult parents.

Over the years, the National Campaign has produced and disseminated a number of detailed reports and publications on such topics as parental influence, the role of peers, media influence, and the costs of teen pregnancy. Still, the question we are asked most frequently is: what programs work to prevent teen pregnancy? In Emerging Answers 2007—an update of Emerging Answers (2001) and No Easy Answers (1997)—Dr. Kirby provides some answers to the important question of “what works.” We are confident that this review will be as popular and influential as its predecessors....

Sarah S. Brown
National Campaign to Prevent
Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
October 2007

Download Emerging Answers 2007, by researcher Douglas Kirby, Ph.D

PDF format, 5.8MB, 204Pages.

For many years, people concerned about preventing teen pregnancy have turned to the National Campaign for help in determining what programs are likely to work for the teens in their community. Emerging Answers 2007 offers such help

Visit Emerging Answers 2007's Web Site

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy was founded in 1996 to work exclusively on decreasing teen pregnancy in America, and at the outset challenged the nation to reduce the teen pregnancy rate by one third over the next decade. Current demographic projections suggest that the nation has reached this goal.

As the National Campaign begins its second decade, there are two notable demographic factors that capture the attention.

  • First, despite the nation’s progress in reducing teen pregnancy, about one third of teens get pregnant by age 20, the rates in the United States are still the highest among fully industrialized nations, and there is some evidence that progress is slowing. In fact, the overall teen birth rate increased in 13 states between 2003 and 2004 and remained stable in three others. Moreover, among some groups, especially the large and growing Latino population, rates of teen pregnancy and birth are well above the national average and are declining far more slowly than the overall rates. Clearly, we all still have a lot of work to do.
  • Second, it is now evident that although teens have been making remarkable progress in recent years, adults have not. This is especially apparent in the nation’s rate of unplanned pregnancy. At present, about half of pregnancies are unplanned and the rate of the progress made in reducing unplanned pregnancy in the 1980s and into the 1990s seems to have almost completely halted.

Unplanned pregnancy is at the root of a number of important public health and social challenges. For example, it explains the vast majority of teen pregnancies (less than one fifth of teens say that they planned to become pregnant when they did), and the negative consequences of teen pregnancy have been well described by the National Campaign over the last decade. Unplanned pregnancy also bears a number of unfortunate and costly health consequences.

Another major consequence of high rates of unplanned pregnancy is, of course, high levels of abortion. Although there are many deeply felt and strongly held opinions nationwide about the proper place of abortion in American life, all would prefer that fewer women be faced with difficult decisions brought on by unplanned pregnancy.

It is against this backdrop that the National Campaign has expanded its mission—to continue our work on preventing teen pregnancy and also focus on reducing the high level of unplanned pregnancy in the United States among adults, especially those under 30 where the vast majority of unplanned pregnancies occur.

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