Patterns And Causes Of Teen Pregnancy In The United States

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Teenage Pregnancy in the United States Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy, is traditionally defined as occurring between 13 and 19 years of age. The majority of teenage births in the United States occur among girls between 15 and 19 years of age. According to Gelfond, Dierschke, Lowe, & Plastino (2016), "Almost 4 in 5 pregnancies (77%) among adolescents aged 15 to 19 are unintended, and the adverse behaviors and outcomes associated with unintended pregnancy are both immediate and long term, including adverse birth outcomes, poor health during childhood, and poor mother-child relationships" (p. 597). This paper will focus on unintended pregnancies among adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 who are not married. The national teenage pregnancy rate in the United States has declined drastically over the last two decades and is at a historic low. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), between 1990 and 2010, the rate declined by 51 percent-from 116.9 to 57.4 pregnancies per 1,000 teenage girls (p. 8). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, "In 2015, a total of 229,715 babies were born to women aged 15-19 years, for a birth rate of 22.3 per 1,000 women in this age group. This is another record low for U.S. teens and a drop of 8% from 2014". One of the major factors thought to be contributing to the decline is improvements in contraceptive use and teenagers using contraception more effectively. Also it is believed

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