Sources: Youth.gov; Dept. Health Human Services; American Public Health Association
Despite declines in teen pregnancy and birth rates, and with New Jersey ranking at fifth lowest with 14.8 births per 10,000, the United States teen pregnancy rate continues to be higher than those in other Western industrialized nations.
Sexual development is a normal part of the teen years. Your teen needs your help in understanding his or her feelings, peer pressure, and how to say no if he or she does not want to have sex. If your teen starts having sex, he or she needs to know how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Teens want to talk with their parents about sex and relationships.
Teens are more likely to get pregnant or get someone pregnant if they:
- Live in poverty.
- Are the child of a teen parent.
- Are from a single-parent home.
- Live in a home with a lot of family conflict.
- Have sex at a young age.
- Use and/or abuse drugs and alcohol at a young age.
- Have low self-esteem.
Teens are less likely to get pregnant or get someone pregnant if they have:
- Open communication with adults about using contraception.
- Supportive parents.
- Healthy family dynamics.
- Healthy relationships with peers.
- Peers who use condoms.
- Accurate knowledge about sexual health, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and the importance of abstinence.