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
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 florida. Has this rate increased or decreased? Discuss possible reasons for an increase or decrease.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Some teenagers are more susceptible to adolescent pregnancy than others. These risk factors which trigger this difference include; the socio-economic status of the teenager, the immediate environment, personal attitudes, type of family, and the number of resources available at their disposal (‘Power to Decide’, 2019).
It is noted that teen pregnancies tend to occur at a much higher rate in the rural communities compared to the urban and suburban centers. Also, the rates are high in the neighborhoods where social segregation is present, where families are not well educated and are earning a low income, and where resources are not sufficient for youth empowerment.
The state of Mississippi has various resources which are devoted to adolescent pregnancy and its prevention. The National Conference of State Legislatures is one such resource which features facts that have been researched about teenage pregnancy. It features discussions on how the issue impacts education and the economy in the long run and how it connects to various precursors such as child welfare and the juvenile justice (‘National Conference of State Legislatures’, 2015).
The various state policy options have also been discussed. Another resource is the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) which is offered by the Mississippi State Department of Health. The PREP has the sole purpose of using evidence-based programs to educate the teenagers on abstinence and contraception (‘Mississippi State Department of Health’, n.d.).
Since 2009, the rate of teen pregnancies has declined significantly by approximately 60% (‘Mississippi State Department of Health’, n.d.). However, it is still evident that Mississippi features the highest rates of teen birth today.
About 3,000 births per year are from adolescent pregnancies in this state (‘Power to Decide’, 2019). This decrease in rates may be attributed to the fact that the state has taken measures to educate the youth early on in life before many can become sexually active (‘Power to Decide’, 2019). The youth are more empowered on steps to take to avoid getting pregnant.
Mississippi State Department of Health. (n.d.). Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). Retrieved from https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/handlers/printcontent.cfm?ContentID=11790&ThisPageURL=http%3A%2F%2Fmsdh%2Ems%2Egov%2Fmsdhsite%2Findex%2Ecfm%2Findex%2Ecfm&EntryCode=11790&GroupID=44
National Conference of State Legislatures. (2015). Teen Pregnancy in Mississippi. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/teen-pregnancy-in-mississippi.aspx
Power to Decide. (2019). Mississippi Data. Retrieved from https://powertodecide.org/what-we-do/information/national-state-data/mississippi
Describe two external stressors that are unique to adolescents. Discuss what risk-taking behaviors may result from the external stressors and what support or coping mechanism can be introduced
External Stressors that are unique to Adolescents
Adolescents face many unique challenges in their lives. The following are two of the eternal stressors they face in this stage of development. The first stressor is body image issues. Grigsby et al. (2018) mention that at adolescent, people face many changes. Teenagers focus most on how they look and how people perceive their body.
Though it is reasonable to feel absurd about body image, some teenagers may take the feeling too far, and thus threaten their health and lives. Another stressor is social and school pressure. Teenagers may feel stressed with keeping up good grades, having friends who love them, and blending with every person in society (Carter, 2018). Also, they may have stress in maintaining the balance between their social life and completing their assignments and reading for their exams. In addition, they can develop stress when asked to involve in activities they do not like.
Risk Behaviors resulting from the Stressors
When teenage stressors are not addressed, the youth can indulge themselves in risky behaviors that may cost their health and life. The first risk-taking behavior is alcohol and drugs use (Barnett et al., 2019). When teenagers feel that people around them do not appreciate their bodies, they can decide to use alcohol to relieve stress.
Other teenagers may even decide to commit suicide as a way of freeing themselves from stress brought by body image and school and social pressure. Also, they can indulge in fights with people who assault them and end up in jails or hospitals. However, teenagers can be supported by introducing guidance and counseling programs in schools where they can narrate their problems. Also, their parents should always commend them and praise their bodies to make them feel better.
Barnett, A. P., Molock, S. D., Nieves-Lugo, K., & Zea, M. C. (2019). Anti-LGBT victimization, fear of violence at school, and suicide risk among adolescents. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 6(1), 88.
Carter, J. S. (2018). Stress and self-esteem in adolescence predict physical activity and sedentary behavior in adulthood. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 14, 90-97.
Grigsby, T. J., Forster, M., Meca, A., Zamboanga, B. L., Schwartz, S. J., & Unger, J. B. (2018). Cultural stressors, identity development, and substance use attitudes among Hispanic immigrant adolescents. Journal of Community Psychology, 46(1), 117-132.
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Teenage pregnancy risk factors
Teenage pregnancy can be influenced by various risk factors, which are conditions or circumstances that increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant during adolescence. Here are some of the most common teenage pregnancy risk factors:
- Lack of sex education: Teenagers who are not properly educated about sex and reproductive health are more likely to engage in sexual activity without understanding the risks involved.
- Lack of access to contraception: Adolescents who do not have access to or do not use effective birth control methods are at increased risk of becoming pregnant.
- Low socio-economic status: Teenagers from families with lower socio-economic status may have limited access to health care, education, and resources to prevent pregnancy.
- Peer pressure: Teenagers who feel pressured by their peers to engage in sexual activity are more likely to become pregnant.
- Substance abuse: Adolescents who use drugs or alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior and have unprotected sex.
- History of sexual abuse: Teenagers who have experienced sexual abuse are at higher risk of becoming pregnant as a result of sexual coercion.
- Family history of teen pregnancy: Adolescents whose parents or siblings had teenage pregnancies are more likely to become pregnant themselves.
- Early onset of puberty: Girls who experience early puberty are more likely to engage in sexual activity at an earlier age and have a higher risk of becoming pregnant.
- Lack of parental supervision: Teenagers who lack parental supervision and guidance may be more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.
- Cultural or religious beliefs: In some cultures or religions, sexual activity before marriage is considered taboo or discouraged, which may lead to hiding pregnancies and lack of access to health care.
It is important to note that these factors do not guarantee a teenage pregnancy, and that it is possible to reduce the risk by practicing safe sex and using effective birth control methods.