Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
July 8, 2013
Pat Jamerson, RN, PhD
The issue of controlling and preventing teenage pregnancy is a major problem in society. Teenage pregnancy is a significant health issue that plagues our nation and communities. Community and public health nurses are faced with the challenge of addressing teen pregnancy, a monumental health issues that affect vulnerable populations in society. Effectiveness of healthcare interventions depends in part, on the approach that is taken in addressing the presenting issues (Shi & Stevens, 2005). Factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy span socioeconomic, cultural, and psychological issues that are perpetrated by individual characteristics (of the teenagers), peers, family members, and the greater society (Maurer & Smith, 2009). Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that in 2009, more than 500,000 children were born to mothers of ages 15 to 19 years, at a rate of 45.5 per 1000 mothers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010, para. 1). Teenage pregnancy, a public health priority for youths, is a multifaceted health issue that is influenced, in part, by socioeconomic factors such as peer pressure, low income of families, and the media (Maurer & Smith, 2009; The National Campaign, 2010). Likewise, teenage pregnancy also creates socioeconomic and health problems for teenage mothers, teenage fathers, their children, and society. Some of the effects of teenage pregnancy on the children of teen parents are prematurity, low birth weight, inadequate nutrition, child abuse, and replication of the patterns of school dropout. Teen pregnancy prevention programs that are based on appropriate theoretical frameworks play a vital role in the quest of optimal health and well-being for adolescents (Maurer &Smith, 2009).