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Teen Pregnancy Prevention

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Statistics show that in Wayne County, the rate of teen pregnancies (under the age of 18) resulting in a live birth, termination (abortion), or a miscarriage is 7 out of every 1000. This rate is 42% higher than the statewide rate. The number of teen pregnancies resulting in live births is 1 out of every 20. This rate is 50% higher than the statewide rate.

Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school dropout rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by the age of 22. Whereas approximately 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school. Children of teenage mothers are more likely to have lower school achievement and to drop out of high school, have more health problems, be incarcerated at some time during adolescence, give birth as a teenager, and face unemployment as a young adult. 

Surveys completed by Wayne County youth show several risk factors that are significant predictors of teen pregnancy, either as a teen mother or teen father. These risk factors include lack of family supervision and rules, poor family discipline, family conflict, family history of antisocial behavior, little commitment to school, antisocial behavior, favorable attitudes toward antisocial behavior, and interaction with antisocial peers. A staggering 49%, nearly half, of Wayne County high school students reported a lack of attachment to a trusted adult.

To prevent teen pregnancies, it is essential to determine the prevalence of these factors and identify and address the underlying root causes that interfere with the well-being of our young people. Many Wayne County schools have committed to implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies to reduce these factors or mitigate their impact. Six Wayne County Schools have made a commitment to teach students healthy relationship skills through evidence-based curriculums. These curriculums teach adolescents and young adults how to build healthy romantic relationships, prevent dating violence, and improve impulse control. The belief is that preventing pregnancy must expand beyond teaching young people about the scope of contraceptive options. Rather, interventions must build young people’s skills for cultivating healthy relationships, strengthening healthy self-images, planning and pacing relationships, self-efficacy, and resilience around relationships, proven communication skills, and understanding how family formation impacts children.

Click on the image to visit resources from the US Department of Health & Human Services.

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