Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Teen Pregnancy and Educational Achievement

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I guess I will quit hoping that I become a grandmother in the near future. New research from Child Trends suggests that one in three teen mothers never earns her high school diploma or GED. The younger the teen parent, the less likely she is to complete high school.

That is a problem given the rising rates of teen pregnancy.

Here is a range of pregnancy rates, by age from within CA (brought to you by Kidsdata.org):

California
age 15-17 rate per 1,000 19.9
ages 18-19 rate per 1,000 63.3

Madera County (Highest)
age 15-17 rate per 1,000 30.3
ages 18-19 rate per 1,000 126.8

Fresno County
age 15-17 rate per 1,000 32.8
ages 18-19 rate per 1,000 94.9

Marin County (Lowest)
age 15-17 rate per 1,000 4.5
ages 18-19 rate per 1,000 26.9

There are other costs associated with teen birth including high medical costs for low birthweight babies born to teens, lower academic achievement of their children, and higher rates of developmental delays, behavioral problems, and chances of becoming teen parents themselves.

Photo credit: Symic
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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