Teen Pregnancy: A Multi Method Community Evaluation
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Session presented on Friday, July 25, 2014: Purpose: Teen pregnancy is a complex issue, which attracted a great deal of attention from service providers, educators, and policy makers in recent years. Science-based teen pregnancy prevention programs are funded in select high-risk communities in Massachusetts to provide evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention services. This presentation will share one-community multi method assessment related to teen pregnancy and teen pregnancy prevention programs. Methods: The process consisted of five components: a youth online survey; focus groups with parents; teen mom survey; stakeholder interviews; and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping. Results: Evaluation outcome show that teen birthrate in the community declined by 46.1% in the past ten years. The services in the city prioritize teen empowerment and prevention along with support for pregnant teens. GIS mapping provides a tool to not only to assist with visualizing the location of high-risk populations, but also for planning of location of services. Parents, teens and key informants all recognize the existing problem of teen pregnancies in the community. Teens expressed the need for improved communication with their parents along with sexual education from their schools. Parents admitted that the topic might be difficult and challenging to communicate with their teens. They too support the need for groups geared towards parents. The key stakeholders in the community were aware of the services offered in the city. They supported teen empowerment as a method to prevent teen pregnancy. Career planning and college preparation would focus teens on reaching positive goals. They too supported the development of groups to support parents. Conclusions: A multi method diverse approach helps with leaning about the complexity of teen pregnancy and obtain more comprehensive information about the community. Data from this assessment will assist the community and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) with developing targeted and effective Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs, strengthen existing efforts, or better coordinate activities and referral networks so that all teens and their parents have access to a wide array of prevention services. '