Early Interventions Can Cut Teen Pregnancy Rates
Dislike of school, low hopes for future associated with higher risk of early parenthood
FRIDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Early intervention and youth development programs can reduce the risk of teenage pregnancy, but they do not tackle larger-scale societal and family influences on early parenthood, according to a study published Nov. 12 in BMJ.
Angela Harden, Ph.D., of the University of East London, and colleagues conducted a review of 10 controlled trials and five qualitative studies which measured the effectiveness of interventions for early parenthood among young British people.
When the researchers pooled the data, they found that among subjects who received an intervention, there was a 39 percent lower risk of teen pregnancy compared to those in the control groups, and dislike of school, reduced socioeconomic status, unhappy childhood, and low expectations of the future were all associated with increased risk of early parenthood. Early childhood interventions and youth development programs were both appropriate strategies to combat unwanted teenage pregnancies.
"The programs aim to promote engagement with school through learning support, ameliorate unhappy childhood through guidance and social support, and raise aspirations through career development and work experience. However, none of these approaches directly tackles all the societal, community, and family level factors that influence young people's routes to early parenthood," the authors write.