More Condom Use Plus Less Sex Equals Decline in Teenage Pregnancy Rate

Researching the decline in pregnancy rates among teenagers

Investigators at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Boston University analyzed data from two national surveys to examine teenage pregnancy rates from 1991 to 2001 in African-American and white teenagers and identify factors that influence these rates.

For a three-year period starting in August 2000, the researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the National Institutes of Health-funded National Surveys of Adolescent Males (see the Appendix for more information).

They identified factors that affect teen pregnancy (e.g., start of sexual activity and consistent use of birth control) and sought to determine the importance of each factor for African-American and white teenagers.

Key Findings

  • There was a significant decline in pregnancy rates among African-American teenagers.
  • There was a significant decrease in sexual activity among African-American teenagers, with the largest reduction occurring between 1999 and 2001.
  • There was a significant increase in the prevalence and frequency of condom use.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project with a grant of $45,293 to the Population Resource Center in Princeton, N.J., which hired the researchers. The grant was from August 2000 to July 2003.

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