The Beat: Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Abstinence Education

January 23, 2013

Photograph of a teen mother holding her baby.You may have seen the headlines last fall: Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that girls with below-average reading ability went on to become teen mothers nearly twice as often as girls with average reading ability. The finding was presented at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting last year and will be published in the paper “Pre-Teen Literacy and Subsequent Teenage Childbearing in a U.S. Population,” forthcoming in the February 2013 volume of the journal Contraception.

We wanted to know more, especially about what the correlation between low literacy and teen parenthood means for...

January 22, 2013

Photograph of a red balloonIn our latest podcast, we talk to Dr. Carl Lejuez, a University of Maryland researcher who uses a video game to study why and when people take risks. We asked about his findings and their implications for traumatized youth.

Listen to the podcast.

January 14, 2013

Photograph of two young people holding hands.A number of studies have shown the challenges that youth in foster care have in establishing healthy romantic relationships. Experiencing abuse and neglect can hinder their ability to connect with others. Youth in foster care also lack role models to give them a picture of what healthy interactions look like.

It stands to reason, then, that youth in foster care might benefit from formal relationship education, like that provided through the Family and Youth Services Bureau's Personal Responsibility Education Program. But when Senior Researcher Mindy Scott and her colleagues at Child Trends, a nonprofit research center in Washington, reviewed the research on programs that teach foster youth about healthy dating and romance, they...

January 08, 2013

Family and Youth Services BureauDo you have expertise in teen pregnancy prevention? Show it off at the Second Annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference sponsored by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau. The call for abstracts deadline has been extended to this Friday, January 11, 2013.

This year's conference theme is “Putting Knowledge to Use: Sharing Diverse Practices to Improve Teen Pregnancy Prevention Outcomes.” The conference will be held May 29-31, 2013, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in Maryland.

The conference organizers are looking for abstracts for interactive and engaging 90-minute breakout sessions in four learning tracks:

1) Evaluation/Data...

December 17, 2012

Photograph of a Latina teen girl wearing a red AIDS awareness ribbon on her blouse.Minority youth tend to face more negative consequences from having sex—things like sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy—than do their white peers. Three recent studies explore some of the potential reasons for this difference to see how programs can help minority teens make healthier choices.

Knowledge Is Power

Two sets of researchers conducted studies of minority youth to see what they knew about topics like condoms, HIV/AIDS, and unplanned pregnancy. One group looked at characteristics of participants based on their answers to a survey, while the other conducted focus groups to see what young people had to say.

Based on the studies' findings,...

November 29, 2012

Official World AIDS day logo, showing a map of the world covered by a red ribbon.It has been more than 30 years since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the U.S.—which means the young people you work with have never known a world without HIV. Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about young people and HIV:

  • Young people ages 13 to 29 accounted for 39 percent of all new HIV infections in 2009.
  • HIV disproportionately affects young gay and bisexual men and young African Americans, compared to other young people.
  • All young people should know how to protect themselves from HIV infection.

December 1 is...

November 15, 2012

Photograph of a teen mother cuddling her infant.The Family Spirit Trial for American Indian Teen Mothers and Their Children: CBPR Rationale, Design, Methods and Baseline Characteristics” (abstract), Prevention Science, Vol. 13, No. 5, October 2012.

What it’s about: This study describes preliminary findings from the Family Spirit trial, a home-visiting program designed to promote health and healthy behavior and reduce drug use among Native American teen mothers and their children. More than 300 pregnant Native American girls between the ages of 12 and 19 were randomly selected, in a process similar to a coin toss, to receive either the Family Spirit intervention along with...

October 16, 2012

Photograph of a young woman in a hospital gown waiting for a doctor.When it comes to helping youth understand their medical rights related to sexual health, online resources can be a critical source of up-to-date information.

The Guttmacher Institute website includes monthly policy updates on state actions affecting minors’ access to sexual and reproductive health services. Youth workers can see where their state stands on a variety of issues such as contraceptive services and prenatal care for minors by accessing “State Policies in Brief: An Overview of Minors’ Consent Law” (PDF, 221 KB). This information is also broken out into individual guides available on the...

October 04, 2012

Screen shot of the new FYSB website.The new Family and Youth Services Bureau website has officially launched!  The site is full of information and resources about FYSB and its grant programs, and new material is being added all the time.

You’ll find:

  • Frequent news stories about FYSB and its priorities.
  • Success stories about the young people and families FYSB grantees help on a daily basis.
  • A growing resource library of tip sheets, reports, webinars, and other useful information. 
  • ...
September 27, 2012

Photograph of a nurse with a teen girl.“Restoring Healthy Developmental Trajectories for Sexually Exploited Young Runaway Girls: Fostering Protective Factors and Reducing Risk Behaviors” (abstract). Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 46, Issue 2 (February 2012).

What it's about: The authors of this study evaluate the Minnesota Runaway Intervention Program using data and from the 2004 Minnesota Student Survey. RIP aims to help runaway 12- to 15-year-old girls who have experienced physical or sexual abuse work towards a positive path for their lives, overcome trauma, and improve their health and ability to cope. Trained nurses visited the girls at home to restore family connectedness and provide case management,...

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