Dramatic Declines in Teen Birth Rates: Closing the Gap Between Racial and Ethnic Groups


After leveling off in the mid-2000’s, teen birth rates dropped by almost one-third between 2007 and 2012, including a six percent decline between 2011 and 2012, according to newly-released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since 2007, the declines in teen birth rates have been nearly universal, occurring among all age groups of teens and across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Importantly, these declines have been particularly dramatic among racial and ethnic minority teens, who historically have had higher birth rates than white teens. While that continues to be the case, the gap in teen birth rates has been closing.

Source: Child Trends

Available at: http://www.childtrends.org/dramatic-declines-in-teen-birth-rates-closing-the-gap-between-racial-and-ethnic-groups/

A Pregnancy Test for Schools: The Impact of Education Laws on Pregnant and Parenting Students


Parenthood is not the end of the road for teen moms. Quite to the contrary, motherhood can serve as an educational motivator for many young women. Unfortunately, educational barriers and discrimination often thwart this drive and determination. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the landmark law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. Despite Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination, there are schools across the country that continue to bar pregnant and parenting students from activities, kick them out of school, pressure them to attend alternative programs, and penalize them for pregnancy-related absences.

A Pregnancy Test for Schools outlines the ways that federal, state, and local laws, policies, and programs can change the landscape for pregnant and parenting students and ranks how well the state laws and policies address the needs of these students. The report describes the particular challenges faced by pregnant and parenting students, highlights the requirements of federal laws, reviews relevant state laws and policies (some promising and others sorely lacking), and concludes with recommendations for both policymakers and for schools.

Below we’ve also provided resources for advocates and service providers who work with these youth; download our toolkit to find out how you can help to make a difference.

Source: National Women’s Law Center

Available at: http://www.nwlc.org/reports-overview/pregnancy-test-schools-impact-education-laws-pregnant-and-parenting-students

Examining State-Level Patterns in Teen Childbearing: 1991 to 2009


While a substantial decline in the teen birth rate has occurred over the past two decades, teen childbearing has continued to remain a focus of national, state, and local prevention efforts. Federal programs such as Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) and Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP), for example, address this issue. Examining national trends in the teen birth rate over time is one way to evaluate change. Another way is to examine state-level patterns. This approach identifies states that experience sharper declines or greater variation than others, and may in turn prompt an examination of state-level variation in the implementation of teen pregnancy prevention policies and programs.

Source: Child Trends

Available at: http://www.childtrends.org/Files//Child_Trends-2012_02_01_RB_TeenBirthRate.pdf

Taylor County teen pregnancy rate climbing, but lower than it was 10 years ago


Taylor County has the 89th highest teen pregnancy rate out of Texas’ 254 counties and has been moving closer to the top of the list since 2007, when the county had the 126th highest rate.

Still, the pregnancy rate among girls ages 13 to 17 in Taylor County was much higher in the first half of the decade. In 2003, the county ranked 47th out of 254, according to historical statistics kept by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Source: Abilene Reporter-News

Available at: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2011/oct/29/taylor-county-teen-pregnancy-rate-climbing-but/

Authors Examine Association of Social Support and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Mothers

“Our study found that this association between depressive symptoms and reported social support varied based on a teen mother’s initial level of depressive symptoms,” write the authors of an article published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal online on May 10, 2011. Rates of self-reported depressive symptoms among pregnant adolescents and adolescent mothers vary from 28 to 59 percent depending on the study and the measures used. Depression in adolescent mothers has important implications for both mothers and their children. Factors that appear to be associated with the risk of depression among pregnant and parenting adolescents include lack of social support.

Source: MCH Alert

Article Citation: Brown JD, Harris SK, Woods ER, et al. 2011. Longitudinal study of depressive symptoms and social support in adolescent mothers. Maternal and Child Health Journal [published online on May 10, 2011]. Abstract available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/b2v03045gg172008.