Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention
This knowledge path directs readers to a selection of current, high-quality resources about adolescent pregnancy prevention that measure, document, and monitor the problem; identify risk and protective factors; and report on promising intervention strategies. It can be used by health and social services professionals, policymakers, and researchers to learn more about the topic, for program development, and to locate training resources and information to answer specific questions. Separate briefs identify resources for families and schools. The path has been compiled by NCEMCH and will be updated periodically.
The birth rate for U.S. adolescents ages 15–19 in 2013 was 26.6 per 1,000 (National Center for Health Statistics, 2014), down 57% from 1991, but still the highest birth rate in the Western industrialized world (World Development Indicators, 2012). Adolescent pregnancy and childbirth have serious consequences for the adolescent mother, the child, and society in general. For example, adolescent mothers are more likely to live in poverty. Infants born to adolescent mothers are more likely to have lower birthweights. And adolescent pregnancy imposes large costs on U.S. taxpayers — billions of dollars annually — in terms of the services and support provided to families that began with a birth to an adolescent. See the set of fact sheets about the social issues impacted by adolescent pregnancy, Why It Matters: Teen Pregnancy, by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Also see the strategies and approaches
presented by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
to reduce adolescent and unintended pregnancy.
Resources for Professionals
- Administration for Children and Families (ACF): Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. Tools and resources to support state, tribal, and community efforts to promote comprehensive sex education, adulthood preparation programs, and abstinence education to prevent adolescent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
- Advocates for Youth. Data, reports, lesson plans, information about effective programs, and news and commentary about adolescent sexual and reproductive health for health professionals, educators, and advocates. Topics address abstinence, abortion, contraception, parent-child communication, sexuality education, and adolescent-pregnancy prevention. Also presents contact information for state organizations focused on adolescent pregnancy prevention. Advocates for Youth aims to help adolescents and young adults make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Also see the Parents Sex Ed Center, the Sex Education Resource Center, and the Future of Sex Education (FoSE).
- Campaign for Our Children (CFOC). Tools for public health professionals and local government officials for developing research-based messages and educational media campaigns about adolescent pregnancy prevention and other preventive health issues. Includes video and audio clips and fact sheets. CFOC was established in 1987 to address the high adolescent birth rate in Maryland. CFOC's materials are now used nationally and internationally.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Division of Reproductive Health: Adolescent Reproductive Health. Information about funding programs, research, science-based approaches, and state and community success stories for preventing adolescent pregnancy, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Guide to Community Preventive Services: Prevention of HIV/AIDS, other STIs and Pregnancy. Recommendations for population-based interventions that focus on abstinence education, comprehensive risk reduction, and adolescent behavior.
National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Briefs and reports with data about adolescent sexual activity, contraception, pregnancy, and birth rates.
Parents Matter! Research-based information, resources, and tools for health and social service professionals about including parents in sexual risk prevention efforts targeting adolescents.
Also see CDC's Healthy Youth! Sexual Risk Behaviors, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), and the Prevention Research Centers.
- Child Trends: Teen Pregnancy/Reproductive Health. Research briefs, fact sheets, and other publications about sexual activity, contraceptive use, and fertility to help program providers and policymakers develop strategies for preventing unintended pregnancies, nonmarital births, and STDs. Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization providing research and data to inform decision-making that affects families. Also see the Child Trends DataBank.
- Family Planning National Training Centers (FPNTC). Resources for Title X family planning grantees and agencies to deliver reproductive health services to the Title X community and beyond. Includes family planning guidelines, fact sheets, and other publications; webinars and courses; and information on events, the Affordable Care Act, new recommendations, and communities of practice.
- Guttmacher Institute. Fact sheets, policy briefs, reports, articles, PowerPoint presentations, and news about adolescent sexuality, abortion, contraception, and pregnancy prevention. Some materials are available in Spanish and French. Also presents a state center for research and analysis about sexual and reproductive health laws and policy developments in the states. The Guttmacher Institute focuses on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis, and public education worldwide. Also see the Guttmacher Institute Data Center.
- Healthy People 2020. Information about this national health-promotion and disease-prevention initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services. View the overview, objectives, and recommended interventions and resources for adolescent health, including adolescent pregnancy prevention.
- Healthy Teen Network (HTN). Reports, resource guides, fact sheets, webinars, and a conference calendar about adolescent pregnancy prevention, adolescent pregnancy, and adolescent parenting. HTN is a national member-based organization of adolescent reproductive health professionals. Resources include
Evidence-Based Resource Center. Information and tools to help communities implement evidence-based or innovative approaches to reducing adolescent pregnancy.
- National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center (NAHIC). Fact sheets, policy briefs, reports, and other materials about adolescent health on topics that include positive adolescent development and reproductive health. NAHIC is based at the University of California, San Francisco.
- National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health. Fact sheets, issue briefs, reports, and journal article citations about health care topics important to adolescents, such as health insurance and access to care; development of adolescent-friendly, interdisciplinary models of care; and assurance of confidential care. The alliance provides education, research, policy analysis, and technical assistance to support improvements in the way that adolescent health care is structured and financed.
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. An extensive set of resources about adolescent pregnancy prevention for health and education professionals, policymakers, faith communities, parents, adolescents, and the media. Resources include national and state data; information about effective programs; reports; fact sheets; PowerPoint presentations; Spanish-language materials; posters; audiovisuals; and news and commentary. Topics include contraception, foster care, male involvement, parental involvement, the influence of media on adolescent sexual health, health reform, racial and ethnic differences, and faith and values. The National Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan initiative that aims to improve the well-being of children, adolescents, families, and the nation by preventing unplanned and adolescent pregnancy.
- Office of Adolescent Health (OAH): Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Information about a federal initiative to support evidence-based adolescent pregnancy prevention approaches. Includes grant announcements, application forms, and technical assistance information. Also includes information about the systematic review of the evidence base for programs to prevent adolescent pregnancy and information about interventions meeting the review's criteria for programs with evidence of effectiveness. OAH is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
- Office of Population Affairs (OPA). Information about family planning and adolescent family life grant programs. Includes program reports, data, evaluation instruments, lists of grantees, a reproductive health clinic directory, and a publications list. OPA is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
- Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP). Tools and information for teachers and health educators on reducing sexual risk-taking behaviors among adolescents. Includes information about programs that have shown evidence of changing sexual risk-taking behavior; strategies for educators and adolescents for effective prevention; learning activities that teachers and health educators can use with adolescents; rationales behind the development of adolescent pregnancy prevention strategies, activities, and programs; statistics; abstracts of current research; and access to ReCAPP's library. ReCAPP was created by ETR, a private, nonprofit health-education-promotion organization.
- Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). Resources about human sexuality and adolescent development that include program information; policy, advocacy, and research updates; and advocacy and education tools. SIECUS is a national, nonprofit organization that provides education and information about sexuality and sexual and reproductive health.
Also see SIECUS' Talk About Sex, SexEdLibrary, and Future of Sex Education (FoSE).
- Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM). Position papers on topics that include abstinence-only education policies and programs, confidential health care for adolescents, emergency contraception, media and contraception, and reproductive health care for adolescents. Also offers an online directory of adolescent health professionals.
- Sociometrics Corporation. Adolescent-pregnancy data, information about effective prevention programs, and evaluation resources for program administrators from health clinics, schools, and community-based organizations. Resources include the Data Archive on Adolescent Pregnancy and Pregnancy Prevention (DAAPPP) and journal articles about its development and use. Also includes the Program Archive on Sexuality, Health, and Adolescence (PASHA), a collection of effective adolescent pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease (STD), and HIV/AIDS prevention programs selected for public dissemination by a national panel of experts. Replication kits for each of these programs are available. Publications and online professional training in program modeling and evaluation are also presented. Sociometrics is a research and development firm specializing in social science research applications.
Data and Statistics
Literature and Research Databases
News and Commentary
- Advocates for Youth. Several blogs about adolescent reproductive and sexual health policy, culture, current events and research, and parent-child communication. Also offers Daily News, a list of headlines with links to articles about adolescent reproductive and sexual health.
- Guttmacher Institute E-mail Updates. Three electronic newsletters about sexual and reproductive health news and analysis: (1) Guttmacher Update, (2) State News Quarterly, and (3) News Providers Can Use from the Guttmacher Institute.
- National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO): Adolescent Health Update. An electronic newsletter about adolescent health resources, conferences, funding opportunities, and news for professionals working in local health departments. Topics include adolescent pregnancy prevention.
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The blog, Pregnant Pause, about adolescent and unplanned pregnancy and Notification Network, an e-mail news service that covers adolescent pregnancy prevention facts, data, research, publications, program information, and media messages.
Resources for Families
Resources for Schools
Related NCEMCH Resources
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention: Knowledge Path, 6th ed. (September 2010). (Updated: August 2014).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., NCEMCH.
Reviewers: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., NCEMCH; Katherine Suellentrop, M.P.H., The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., NCEMCH.