The Beat: Pregnant and Parenting Youth

January 25, 2013

Image of computer generated maps stacked on top of each other.Using GIS to Enhance Programs Serving Emancipated Youth Leaving Foster Care” (abstract), Evaluation and Program Planning, Vol. 35, No. 1 (2012).

What it’s about: Researchers at the University of South Florida wanted to see if computer mapping could help youth workers find appropriate housing for youth about to live on their own. Using geographic information systems, or GIS, technology to present information visually, the authors identified low-cost, bus-accessible housing options that would support the educational goals and parenting needs of transitioning youth....

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...

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 17, 2013

Photograph of a young woman doing research on her laptop computer while talking on the phone.The federal government, including the Family and Youth Services Bureau, continues to encourage the use of evidence-based practices in social services programming. If you’re looking for practices and programs to use in your organization, research is a key first step.

To get you started, we’re listing some online databases and guides that highlight youth-serving programs researchers have deemed effective. You’ll want to read about each resource more carefully to learn about the criteria it uses to decide whether or not to include an intervention.

  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s...
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...

December 03, 2012

Images of, MissionFish, and Just Give logos.As people power up their computers to buy holiday gifts, why not point them toward websites that help them support your organization and finish their shopping? NCFY found several resources that allow gift-givers to support a nonprofit of their choosing when making a purchase. These tools may not earn your agency a lot of money, but they are relatively quick and easy ways to boost donations and awareness during the holiday season.

  • lets shoppers who buy from participating merchants donate a percentage of their total to any registered nonprofit. There is no extra fee to make a...
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...

November 28, 2012

Cover of report, showing the face of a young African American child.More African American children than white children are born into poverty in the United States. That difference at birth leads to inequalities throughout a child’s life, according to “Portrait of Inequality 2012: Black Children in America.” Published by the Children’s Defense Fund, a child advocacy nonprofit in Washington, the report compares how African American and white children fare when it comes to childhood poverty, family stability, health, school readiness, education, employment and other factors.

To learn how youth...

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...

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...

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