Skip to main content
Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

Poor Reading Skills Linked to Teen Pregnancy Risk

Preteen girls' reading skills can strongly predict whether they'll get pregnant when they're teens, a new study suggests.

University of Pennsylvania researchers looked at the reading skills of more than 12,000 girls when they were in grade 7 (average age 11.9 years) in Philadelphia public schools and then checked to see how many of them gave birth when they were teens.

 

Girls with below-average reading skills in grade 7 were 2.5 times more likely to have a child during their teenage years than those with average reading skills, the investigators found.

Among preteen girls with below-average reading skills, 21 percent had one baby and 3 percent had two or more babies during their teens, compared with 12 percent and 1 percent, respectively, of girls with average reading skills, and 5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, of those with above-average reading skills.

The researchers also found that Hispanic and black girls were more likely to have below-average reading skills, and that the link between poor reading skills and teen pregnancy was stronger in these groups of girls.

The study was scheduled for presentation Oct. 31 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association and will be published in the February 2013 issue of the journal Contraception.

Poor reading skills in early grades are difficult to overcome and may increase the risk that children will later drop out of school, the researchers noted.

"It is quite possible that adolescent girls who experience a daily sense of rejection in the classroom might feel as though they have little chance of achievement later on in life," study author Rosemary Frasso said in a news release from the American Public Health Association. "Our findings underscore the role of literacy as its own social risk factor throughout the life course."

Health care providers working with preteen girls should consider literacy when providing the girls with birth control and other reproductive health services, the researchers concluded.

Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about teen pregnancy.

 

SOURCE: American Public Health Association, news release, Oct. 31, 2012 http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/birth-control/poor-reading-skills-linked-to-teen-pregnancy-risk

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
CEBS
Media Relations
Academic Affairs
Augenstein Alumni Center
Instruments of American Excellence
Transportation
Emergency Preparedness
Police
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Library News
Office of Sustainability
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Ogden News
PCAL
WKU Greeks News
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Parent's Association
Student Activities and Organizations
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Government Association News
Van Meter Auditorium
Teaching News
Study Abroad
Student Research Council
Student Employment
WKU Joint Admissions
International Student Office
Human Resources News
Cultural Enhancement Series
CHHS News
The Confucius Institute
Campus Activities Board
GFCB
WellU
The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Student Union
Health Services
Hardin Planetarium
News from The Center for Gifted Studies
Student Financial Assistance
Downing Museum
Etown & Fort Knox
Facilities
Employee Wellness
Latest Headlines
Children's Theatre Series presents "Lily Plants a Garden" Oct. 31-Nov. 2

The WKU Theatre & Dance department presents the Childrenís Theatre show "Lily Plants a Garden" Oct. 31-Nov. 2

WKU Entrepreneurship Center Topper Tank Competition
Football Event Parking

WKU football will host Old Dominion at home on Sat, October 25th

Featured Articles
Children's Theatre Series presents "Lily Plants a Garden" Oct. 31-Nov. 2

The WKU Theatre & Dance department presents the Childrenís Theatre show "Lily Plants a Garden" Oct. 31-Nov. 2

WKU Entrepreneurship Center Topper Tank Competition
The Center for Gifted Studies Travels to Spain

Twenty-five travelers have returned home after a ten-day study abroad trip to Spain with Dr. Julia Roberts, Dr. Richard Roberts, and Dr. Tracy Inman of The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 9/24/14