Maternal Health Considerations for Adolescents
Since 1991, birth rates have declined steadily
in the U.S. among teenagers aged 15-19. However, from
2007 to 2015, teen birth rates in urban counties declined 50% (from 38.1 to 18.9 births per 1,000
females aged 15-19) while these same rates only declined 37% in rural counties (49.1 to 30.9). Maryland,
Montana, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania reported the smallest decreases with less than 30%.
The 2015 rate of teen births remained highest among rural counties when broken into race and Hispanic origin of
- Non-Hispanic White: 10.5 urban, 26.8 rural
- Non-Hispanic Black: 29.1 urban, 39.6 rural
- Hispanic: 31.4 urban, 47.0 rural
In 2015, the teen birth rate for American Indian/Alaska Natives was highest overall among all races and
ethnicities, at 32.9 per 1,000 females aged 15-19.
There is strong evidence that comprehensive
clinic-based programs for pregnant and parenting teens reduce teen pregnancy
and rapid repeat pregnancies. Programs are more effective when clinical and social services are integrated,
mother and infant care are combined, and contraceptive education is offered.
One promising program, Teen
Options to Prevent Pregnancy (TOPP), is working with adolescent mothers from seven counties in central
Ohio. The program's primary goal is to reduce rapid repeat pregnancy among teenagers. TOPP is implemented over
an 18-month period by nurse educators and a social worker. The program includes the following components:
- Monthly one-on-one motivational interviewing sessions with a nurse educator
- Free transportation to a clinic for contraceptive services
- At least one in-person visit from a nurse educator
- Referral to services by the program social worker
For more program examples, see RHIhub's Models and Innovations Rural Project Examples: Teen Pregnancy.
Resources to Learn More
Teen Pregnancy Prevention
An introduction with accompanying data discussing the effects of teen pregnancy in the U.S. focusing on
educational opportunities, economic wellbeing and youth in foster care. Offers information and resources on teen
pregnancy prevention, related state policies, and federal funding.
Organization(s): National Conference of State Legislatures
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
Provides information about the evidence-based TPP grant program for organizations supporting medically accurate
and age-appropriate teen pregnancy prevention in the U.S. Offers training and resources for professionals
working to reduce teen pregnancy, and support pregnant and parenting teens. Profiles successful models and their
strategies of implementation.
Organization(s): Office of Population Affairs (OPA), U.S. Department of Health & Human