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Sexually abused or neglected adolescent girls at risk of becoming moms while still teenagers
Date:3/24/2013

omparison group had children, representing a teen childbirth rate of 9.4 percent.

"Although the comparison group had childbirth rates greater than twice the national rate of 4 percent, these girls were selected to be demographically similar to the abused sample, so they were from relatively low income, inner city neighborhoods places where teen childbirth rates are often higher than the national average," says Dr. Noll.

While teen birth rates in the United States have been declining since they peaked in 1991, the US continues to have one of the highest teen birth rates among industrialized nations. One explanation for this, according to Dr. Noll, is that there are risk factors for teen pregnancy and childbirth not addressed in current prevention efforts particularly for teen girls entering protective services due to abuse or neglect.

"Because victims of maltreatment are processed through child protective service agencies, caseworkers have a golden opportunity to educate these teen girls about the risk for, and consequences of, teen childbirth," says Dr. Noll.

The median age of all participants in Dr. Noll's study initial assessment was 15.26 years, median household income was $30,000 to $39,000, and 57 percent were from single parent households. Forty-eight percent were black and eight percent were biracial or multiracial.


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Contact: Jim Feuer
jim.feuer@cchmc.org
513-636-4656
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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