Topic 3 DQ 1
As a child moves from childhood to adolescence, they begin to have physical development changes as well as an increase in hormonal changes (Falkner, 2018). In addition to an increase in hormonal changes, this is the stage where the adolescent wants to explore their sexual orientation and newfound interest in sex (Falkner, 2018). As one might assume this exploration leads to sexual activity amongst adolescents which then can lead to adolescent pregnancy. Risk factors for adolescent pregnancy are education levels, socio-economic factors, and poverty levels (Falkner, 2018). All these play a role in the adolescent being able to make a decision such as using contraceptives, condoms and seeking medical attention when needed.
The CDC website has a wide variety of community resources to help prevent teen pregnancy. They have resources available on their website such as education on contraceptives known as the Contraceptive Action Plan Project (CAP) (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016). This webpage partner with other organizations in order to help those whom financially can’t afford contraceptives have access to them (CDC, 2016). CAP initiative is to educate women in the communities on the decisions about birth control as well as offering opportunities to attain birth control and clinic visits (CDC, 2016). Another resource is the Child Welfare Information Gateway website (Children’s Bureau, n.d.). This website supports adolescents by ensuring they have social, emotional, medical and academic support (Children’s Bureau, n.d.). The Children’s Bureau offers both local and State resources for the adolescent.
According to the California Department of Public Health [CDPH] (2019), teen pregnancy has had a substantial decline from the years of 2000 to 2017. From 2000 to 2017 there was an increase in California teen females however there was over a 24% decline in pregnancies in ages 15-19 years of age (CDPH, 2019). Although the reason for such a decline is not known according to the CDPH (2019) they are expecting the coming years to continue to decline as it has over the periods of 2000 to 2017. One of the possible reasons for the decrease is access to healthcare and contraceptives. Also, a possible reason for a decrease in pregnancy with teens is education and programs such as what I discussed in the previous paragraph.
California Department of Public Health [CDPH]. 2019. Adolescent birth rate [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CFH/DMCAH/Pages/Data/Adolescent-Birth-Rate.aspx
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. 2016. Reproductive health: Teen pregnancy [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/projects-initiatives/contraceptive-action-plan-project.html
Children’s Bureau. (n.d.). Supporting pregnant and parenting teens [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/promoting/parenting/pregnant-teens/
Falkner, A. & Green, S. Z. (2018). Health assessment of the infant. In Grand Canyon University (Eds). Health assessment: Foundations for effective practice. Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs434vn/health-assessment-foundations-for-effective-practice/v1.1/#/chapter/3
Adolescent pregnancy is viewed as a high-risk situation because it poses serious health risks for the mother and the baby. Describe various risk factors or precursors to adolescent pregnancy. Research community and state resources devoted in adolescent pregnancy and describe at least two of these resources. Research the teen pregnancy rates for the last 10 years for your state and community. Has this rate increased or decreased? Discuss possible reasons for an increase or decrease.
The risk associated with adolescent pregnancy has short- and long-term implications. For example, while embarrassment and overcoming hormonal changes encompass short term risks, the growing fetus’s health, the birthing process, and social, economic challenges may comprise long term challenges. According to Angel Falkner, the lack of maturity, emotional and cognitive changes in adolescents may be a precursor for poor decision making and an increase in at-risk behaviors leading to pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), relationship violence, and substance abuse (Falkner (2018).
To mitigate and restore hope to the affected youths, the federal government, states, and other stakeholders have been at the forefront of educating and providing material and financial support to the young mothers. In the US. the estimate associated with teen pregnancy is as high as $28 billion per year or an average of $5,500 for each teen parent (Pregnancy Prevention. (n.d). Hence, the necessity for direct investment in the prevention of early pregnancy and associated risks. For example, In the Fiscal year 2010, the federal government appropriated $100 million in grant funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to address high teen pregnancy rates, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and associated sexual risk behaviors (Pregnancy Prevention. (n.d.). At the State level, New Jersey supports and funds school and community-based programs such as NJ PREP- Personal Responsibility Education Program, which offers a comprehensive sexual health education program that includes abstinence, contraception, reproductive and sexual health. (State of New Jersey Department of Health. (n.d.).
The rate of adolescent pregnancy varies by State. While it is notable that the teenage pregnancy rate has been on the decline, disparities exist within racial/ethnic, geographic, and low socioeconomic communities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019). When compared to other States, “New Jersey is ranked 4 out of 50 in teen birth rate and 18 out of 50 in the teen pregnancy rate, however NJ ranks 5 out of 50 in the decline of the teen birth rate which means although declining, that decline is slower than other states. (State of New Jersey Department of Health. (n.d.). The decline may be associated with concerted efforts in youth education and awareness that has been ongoing in the last decade.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019, October 15). Social Determinants and Eliminating Disparities in Teen Pregnancy. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/social-determinants-disparities-teen-pregnancy.htm
Falkner, A. (2018). Adolescent Assessment. Grand Canyon University. https://www.gcumedia.com/digital-resources/grand-canyon-university/2018/health-assessment_foundations-for-effective-practice_1e.php
Pregnancy Prevention. (n.d.). Youth.Gov. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://youth.gov/youth-topics/pregnancy-prevention/adverse-effects-teen-pregnancy
State of New Jersey Department of Health. (n.d.). Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP). Https://Www.Nj.Gov/Health/. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from https://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/maternalchild/teens/teen-pregnancy-prevention/#:~:text=New%20Jersey%20is%20ranked%204,and%2050%20is%20the%20highest)