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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Teenage pregnancy: cause for concern.

AIMS: To describe the lifetime prevalence of teenage pregnancy and parenthood, in addition to the psychosocial backgrounds and current circumstances of young parents in a sample of 533 young women studied from bith to 21 years. METHODS: The data were gathered as part of the Christchurch Health and Development Study. This study consists of a cohort of 1265 young people born in the Christchurch urban area during mid 1977 and who have been regularly assessed up to the age of 21 years. Information was collected on all pregnancies and births from ages 14-21 years. RESULTS: By age 21 years, 26% of the sample had been pregnant and 14% had become parents. Most pregnancies occurred between ages 17-21 years. Young women who became pregnant were characterised by higher rates of educational under-achievement, conduct problems, sexual risk taking, family adversity, and were more likely to identify themselves as Maori. Amongst those who became pregnant, there was a tendency for young women with a personal history of family adversity to proceed with their pregnancy and become young mothers. CONCLUSIONS: By age 21 years, at least a quarter of all young women studied had been pregnant at least once. The wide range of personal and social factors associated with teenage pregnancy and parenthood suggests that teenage pregnancy does not solely reflect the effects of problematic adolescent sexual practices. Implications for teen pregnancy prevention and the health and development of children born to younger mothers are discussed.[1]


  1. Teenage pregnancy: cause for concern. Woodward, L.J., Horwood, L.J., Fergusson, D.M. N. Z. Med. J. (2001) [Pubmed]
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