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This knowledge path directs readers to a selection of current, high-quality resources about adolescent pregnancy prevention that measure, document, and monitor the problem; identify risk and protective factors; and report on promising intervention strategies. It can be used by health and social services professionals, policymakers, and researchers to learn more about the topic, for program development, and to locate training resources and information to answer specific questions. Separate briefs identify resources for families and schools. The path has been compiled by the MCH Library at Georgetown University and will be updated periodically.


The birth rate for U.S. adolescents ages 15–19 in 2012 was 29.4 per 1,000 (National Center for Health Statistics, 2013), down 6% from 2011, but still the highest birth rate in the Western industrialized world (World Development Indicators, 2012). Adolescent pregnancy and childbirth have serious consequences for the adolescent mother, the child, and society in general. For example, adolescent mothers are more likely to live in poverty. Infants born to adolescent mothers are more likely to have lower birthweights. And adolescent pregnancy imposes large costs on U.S. taxpayers — billions of dollars annually — in terms of the services and support provided to families that began with a birth to an adolescent. See Why It Matters: Linking Teen Pregnancy Prevention to Other Critical Social Issues, rev. ed. (2010) by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The National Campaign also offers a set of fact sheets about the social issues impacted by adolescent pregnancy. Also see the strategies announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reduce adolescent and unintended pregnancy.

Resources for Professionals


Additional Electronic Resources


See the following set of MCH Library resource briefs to identify additional data and statistics, literature and research, and programs about adolescent pregnancy prevention.

News and Commentary

Resources for Families

Resources for Schools

Related MCH Library Resources

Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention: Knowledge Path, 6th ed. (September 2010). (Updated: January 2013).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Library.
Reviewers: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Library; Katherine Suellentrop, M.P.H., The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., MCH Library.