Young pregnant woman

Teen Pregnancy/Reproductive Health

Child Trends examines sexual activity, fertility, and contraceptive use and decision-making, focusing particularly on teens and young adults. Our research informs program providers and policymakers on  strategies to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, and to promote healthy relationships. We collect and analyze data about teens and young adults, track trends, evaluate programs, and design and test new interventions and measures.

Featured Publications

Location Matters: Geographic Variation in Teen Childbearing within Washington, D.C.

Nov 2014 | Jennifer Manlove; Elizabeth Cook; P. Mae Cooper; August Aldebot-Green; Kate Welti

Teen childbearing remains a reality for hundreds of thousands of teenage girls in the United States, despite recent declines in the overall teen birth rate. Nationwide, there are also disparities in the rate of teen births. Hispanic, black, and Native American/Alaska Native teen girls, for example, are far more likely to give birth than are white or Asian/Pacific Islander teens. For this brief, we set off to determine how birth rates vary within a city, specifically the nation’s capital, and to analyze how addressing the issue of teen pregnancy among the populations most at-risk could reduce teen childbearing for the city overall.

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Male Involvement in Family Planning: The Estimated Impact of Improvements in Condom Use and Efficacy on Nonmarital Births among Teens and Young Adults

Sep 2014 | Jennifer Manlove; Elizabeth Cook; Quentin Karpilow; Adam Thomas; Heather Fish

This research uses FamilyScape 2.0, a microsimulation model of family formation, to estimate the effects of increasing the prevalence and effectiveness of condom use among sexually active men on the incidence of nonmarital pregnancy, abortion and childbearing, as well as on rates of child poverty. These models are informed by analyses of the 2006‐2010 National Survey of Family Growth (to provide a descriptive reproductive portrait of young men and estimates of condom use failure rates) and a review of evidence‐based pregnancy prevention programs that found impacts on condom use.

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What if You Earned a Diploma and Delayed Parenthood? Intergenerational Simulations of Delayed Childbearing and Increased Education

Jun 2014 | Kristin A. Moore; Vanessa H. Sacks; Jennifer Manlove; Isabel Sawhill

This brief reports the results of using the Social Genome Model to provide a better understanding of how delaying childbearing and improving the educational attainment of teen mothers in one generation can be linked to the improved economic well-being of their children. This brief specifically reports results from “What if” simulations, in which teen mothers’ age at their first birth was increased by two or five years and in which the mothers earn a high school diploma. The implications of these changes on the life of the mothers’ children are estimated through childhood and up to age 29.

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Reducing Teen Childbearing among Latinos: An Innovative Anti-Poverty Strategy (Report)

Dec 2013 | Child Trends

Hispanics in the U.S. experience high rates of adolescent childbearing, high school dropout, and poverty. Research finds that these issues are linked. With the goal of decreasing poverty rates, this project has sought to identify promising approaches to reducing early childbearing among Latino adolescents. To inform this work, Child Trends researchers have synthesized evidence from research studies, trend data, and evaluations of intervention programs. We have also conducted qualitative interviews with parents, teens, and program designers and practitioners. The findings from each of these endeavors are described in the chapters of the report.

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