chapter
20 Pages

Teenage Pregnancy: The Implication for Black Americans

WithJoyce A. Ladner

Teen parenthood enters the lives of young males and females when they are in the throes of their psychosocial development. Adolescent pregnancy disproportionately affects poor minority youths. Black teen pregnancy must also be placed within the context of other major social problems facing American youths of all racial, ethnic and social class groups. One of the major problems associated with teen pregnancy is infant mortality in which a major cause is low birth weight. Teen parents are considered high risk in pregnancy outcome because of their immature body stature and gynecological development. The increase in the number of female headed households is closely linked to teen pregnancy. To reduce teen pregnancy, a variety of approaches are being used by private and public organizations on the local, state and national levels. In a survey conducted by the United States Conference of Mayors in May, 1985, ten cities across the country had task forces to address teen pregnancy.