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Adolescent Health

Adolescent Health

Young people

TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION

Teen birth rates have reached record lows in recent years, yet teen pregnancy, birth and abortion rates in the U.S. remain among the highest in the industrialized world. Teen pregnancy is closely associated with many social and economic issues—such as educational attainment, poverty, child welfare and juvenile justice—and affects not only teen mothers, but their children as well. States are taking a variety of approaches to prevent teen pregnancy.

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LEGISBRIEF

In 2012, teen pregnancy and birth rates reached historic lows in the U.S., yet they remain among the highest in the industrialized world. At particular risk are youth in foster care. States are taking steps to address high rates of pregnancy and parenthood among youth in foster care.

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OVERVIEW

As young people navigate the challenges of adolescence, they make decisions about sexual activity, engage in new and potentially dangerous activities such as driving, and may develop new needs for mental health care services and substance abuse prevention and treatment. While teenagers might look like small adults, they need safe environments and caring adults to guide them through experiences they are facing for the first time. Policy topics include: adolescent pregnancy, teen dating violence, juvenile justice, mental health, positive youth development, risky behavior, tanning restrictions for minors, tattoos & body piercing for minors, traffic safety and youth in transition (foster care).

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