Getting real about adolescent pregnancy

August 1, 2005

Unintended adolescent pregnancy continues to present a serious social problem in this country, with adverse consequences for the young mothers and the children they bear. But too many prescriptions touted to prevent teen pregnancy are grounded in ideology rather than evidence. That's likely the impetus for the American Academy of Pediatrics's release of an updated position paper on the subject, "Adolescent Pregnancy: Current Trends and Issues" (

Unintended adolescent pregnancy continues to present a serious social problem in this country, with adverse consequences for the young mothers and the children they bear. But too many prescriptions touted to prevent teen pregnancy are grounded in ideology rather than evidence. That's likely the impetus for the American Academy of Pediatrics's release of an updated position paper on the subject, "Adolescent Pregnancy: Current Trends and Issues" (Pediatrics 2005;116[July]:281 or at http://www.pediatrics.org/).

The new clinical report speaks firmly: "The prevention of unintended adolescent pregnancy is an important goal of the AAP and our society." Effective prevention depends on knowledge of the salient facts, however-evidenced by the extensive list of literature citations at the end of the paper. Here are important findings in the position paper for you to keep in mind: