In order to decrease the overall rate of teenage pregnancy, it is crucial to address the populations that are disproportionately affected by the issue. There are numerous research studies and reports that suggest specific risk factors for teenage pregnancy. A report by Romero et al. (2016) summarizes the existing racial, social, and economic disparities associated with teen childbearing in the United States.
Education has been recognized as one of the key socioeconomic predictors of teenage pregnancy. According to Romero et al. (2016), low levels of parents’ education increased the risk of early pregnancy in their daughters. One of the reasons for this could be that a low level of parental education can impact the children’s willingness to learn, thus impairing their attitudes to health and sexuality education. Moreover, teenagers whose parents have a low level of education might have limited opportunities for further education and employment. As noted in the report, limited opportunities for education and employment are usually characteristic of communities with high rates of teen pregnancy (Romero et al., 2016).
Low family income is also associated with an increased risk of teen childbearing in the U.S. (Romero et al., 2016). One of the explanations for this relationship might be limited access to health care and education. For instance, low income is associated with unemployment, which limits access to health care services due to the lack of insurance. Thus, teenagers who live in families with low income have limited access to contraception and gynecological services. Not only does this increase the risk of teenage pregnancy; it can also increase the possibility of STD transmission.
Race and Ethnicity
Romero et al. (2016) note that despite efforts to address racial health disparities, the rates of teenage pregnancy remain connected to race and ethnicity. In particular, black and Hispanic teens are more likely to get pregnant at a young age (Romero et al., 2016). This could be linked to the higher rates of unemployment in racial and ethnic minority groups, as well as to existing disparities in access to healthcare among racial groups. Romero et al. (2016) state that “Social determinants associated with teen childbearing […] are more common in communities with higher proportions of racial and ethnic minorities” (p. 409). Overall, in order to address high rates of teenage pregnancy, it would be important to focus on racial and ethnic minorities who are exposed to a higher risk of adolescent childbearing.
Challenges of Addressing the Target Population
Based on research, it would be useful to address black and Hispanic teens living in low-income families and whose parents have limited levels of educational attainment. However, there are several challenges to obtaining a sufficient sample from this group. First, it might be difficult to access a specific group if the overall share of racial and ethnic minorities in the local community is low. Secondly, it would be necessary to obtain information about family income and education from the applicants, who might be reluctant to share these details. Furthermore, it would be essential to determine an effective reward to attract teenagers from the target group to participate.
Overall, to overcome the possible challenges to obtaining a sample from the target population, it would be crucial to review previous research to determine the methods used in past studies to attract participants. This relates to the AACN (2011) Master’s Essential IV, which stresses the importance of applying research findings and outcomes to resolve practice problems. Past studies can provide useful information on how to approach the target population; moreover, they might suggest ways of building a culturally-sensitive curriculum for an educational intervention. Thus, referring to past studies would help to increase the effectiveness of the intervention in addressing the problem of teenage pregnancy.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2011). The Essentials of Master’s education in nursing. Web.
Romero, L., Pazol, K., Warner, L., Cox, S., Kroe linger, C., Besera, G.,… Barfield, W. (2016). Reduced disparities in birth rates among teens aged 15–19 years — United States, 2006–2007 and 2013–2014. MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 65(16), 409-414.