Stories about: teen pregnancy

Teen moms on TV: The perfect opportunity to talk with your kids?

How is your teenager interpreting media messages about teenage pregnancy?

Doctors, parents and teenagers have wildly different views on TV shows that follow—many say glorify—pregnant teenagers and teenage parents. And it has many parents wondering: Can parents use these shows as opportunities to talk with their children about the consequences of sex?

According to the recent government report “America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011,” teen pregnancy rates have actually dropped for a second consecutive year (20.1 births per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17 in 2009 from 21.7 per 1,000 in 2008). It may or may not have to do with the popular MTV series “Teen Mom,” which started airing around the same time, and David Bickham, PhD, and research scientist at Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center on Media and Child Health suggests that the show could serve as a platform for conversation between parents and teens. “The benefit of watching this kind of show with your child is that you can really shape the experience by being there and talking about what you’re all watching,” he says.

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Teenage pregnancy rates hit record low

As any parent will tell you, raising a teenager can be tough these days. Just look at the headlines: Teen drug and alcohol use is up, the number of teenagers in abusive relationships is staggering and all while high school graduation rates continue to fall. It can be a lot for parents and kids to deal with, but thankfully there is some good news out there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a report showing teen pregnancy has dropped significantly in the past decade– down 37 percent from 1991– the lowest rates on record since the Center started collecting pregnancy data 70 years ago. It’s a step in the right direction, but Sonia Chalfin, RN, PNP of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Young Parents Program (YPP), says there’s still much work to be done to educate young people about the possible repercussions of sex because approximately 1,100 girls between the ages of 15-19 become mothers every day in this country.

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Study: teen males less worried about becoming fathers

pregnant teenThe number of sexually active teenagers in the country hasn’t risen in the past eight years, and those having sex are more likely to use multiple forms of protection, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the number of boys who said they wouldn’t mind being a father if they were to get a girl pregnant has risen considerably since 2002, reflecting a possible shift in young men’s attitudes over the stigma of raising a child out-of-wedlock.

The Centers’ National Survey of Family Growth showed that 64 percent of today’s teenage males thought it was “acceptable” for young, single people to have children, up 14 percentage points when compared to similar data collected in 2002.

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In her own words: Lessons from a teen mother

Carmen Aviles, who got pregnant with her son when she was 16, says, "My baby taught me many lessons, but perhaps the most important was perseverance."
Carmen Aviles, who got pregnant with her son when she was 16, says, "My baby taught me many lessons, but perhaps the most important was perseverance."

by Carmen Aviles

Try riding the bus to high school while lugging a bag of heavy textbooks, plus a 3-month-old infant, complete with a day’s worth of baby gear. It will make you strong. While my peers were joking around and having fun on the morning commute, I was—at age 17—suffering from premature back pain. But I was determined not to end up another teen mother dropout. Under my baby’s watchful gaze, I would be the first in my family to graduate high school and go to college. My baby has taught me many lessons, but perhaps the most important was perseverance.

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