Teenage Pregnancy and Childbearing In Hawai`i
Adolescent pregnancy and childbearing are matters of substantial national concern. Research has shown valid reasons for concern:
Families formed by a first birth to a couple who are unmarried or to a mother who is under 20 or has not completed high school have been found to be at greatest risk of poverty and instability.
Children born to teenage moms have been found to be more likely to have health and developmental problems, to fail in school and to become delinquent.
Young women who become pregnant before age 18 have been found to be at higher risk of school failure, delinquency and poverty that restricts their opportunities in life. Causal patterns are difficult to find: poor teen women and those with educational deficits are more likely to initiate sexual activity at earlier ages. Nevertheless, sustained poverty, frustration and hopelessness are all too often the long-term outcomes.
Prepared by Hawai`i Kids Count 7/99 -- U.H. Center on the Family 956-4136
The United States continues to have the highest teen birth rate among all industrialized nations. Sexual activity rates are similar in the U.S., Netherlands, Sweden, and Canada, but rates of contraceptive use vary. Therefore, teen pregnancy rates are also higher in the U.S.