Teenage Pregnancy

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Teenage Pregnancy Unit

Teenage pregnancy: an overview of the research evidence

Introduction
In 1999 the government’s ten-year national Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched. The main aims of the strategy are to: • Reduce the rate of teenage conceptions with the specific aim of halving the rate of conceptions among under-18s, and to set a firmly established downward trend in the rate of conceptions among under-16s, by 2010 • Increase the participation of teenage parents in education, training and employment to 60% by 2010, to reduce their risk of long-term social exclusion. This briefing presents headline findings from key research relating to teenage pregnancy and parenthood which has emerged (mainly) since the launch of the strategy. The topics covered include research on young people’s sexual behaviour; sources of sex and relationships information; what works in preventing teenage pregnancy; who is at risk of becoming a teenage parent; how to support teenage parents, and many more. It draws on a range of sources including systematic reviews of the effectiveness of prevention and support interventions, national surveys and primary research studies. The emphasis is on the UK and specifically English research. It was compiled by Catherine Dennison, Research Manager supporting the Teenage Pregnancy Unit.

Although not representing a systematic or exhaustive search of the published literature, the briefing is intended to be of use to those engaged in implementing the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy. By providing an update on the evidence base it aims to support and inform their activities. Readers are encouraged to access the original references wherever possible. To assist this, web references are provided where available. The briefing is divided into seven broad sections: • • • • • • • Sexual behaviour Use of services Sexual knowledge, attitudes and beliefs…...

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