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Adolescents at RiskPrevalence and Prevention$
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Joy G. Dryfoos

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195072686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195072686.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 March 2021

Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy

Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy

Chapter:
11 Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy
Source:
Adolescents at Risk
Author(s):

Joy G. Dryfoos

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780195072686.003.0015

The literature on prevention of adolescent pregnancy has a somewhat different tone than the two sets of literature we have just reviewed on delinquency and substance abuse prevention. While those fields were dominated by psychiatric studies (delinquency) and psychologically oriented school-based interventions (substance abuse), the discussion of teen pregnancy tends to focus much more on broader sociological and moral issues. During the past decade, a great deal has been said in the press and on TV specials about preventing teen pregnancy; the subject has been aired at endless conferences and in Congressional Committee hearings. A number of books have been published on the subject, typically collections of previously published articles or chapters provided by authorities. In this literature, certain strategies appear to have been accepted among most of the commentators: that the major focus of prevention should be sex education in the schools and access to contraceptive methods, with little mention of evaluation of these approaches. It would be a gross overstatement to imply that there is a consensus in the United States about what to do about adolescent pregnancy. As in every other facet of American life, there is a significant difference between “liberals” and “conservatives” about appropriate interventions. The conservatives take the position that only abstention will solve the problem, and it is up to families to produce the moral climate necessary to help their children maintain their virginity until marriage. Mosbacher, in a report for the Family Research Council of America, calls for molding children to “reflect virtue, self-control, and self-sacrifice in services to others.” Clearly, when sex enters the scene, the situation becomes complicated. Scholars may be frightened away. Universities do not have departments and big names associated with the evaluation of pregnancy prevention interventions. There is, however, extensive “population research,” focusing on demographic studies of changes in vital rates, with some work on the determinants and consequences of adolescent pregnancy (see Chapter 5). Evaluations of family planning programs are mostly being conducted overseas in developing countries.

Keywords:   Adolescent parent programs, CORPAS, Fifth Ward Enrichment Program, George Mason High School, Head Start, IMPACT, Kansas City programs, Life Planning Education

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