Southeastern Idaho Public Health

Risk Factors for Teenage Pregnancy

How can society reduce the number of teen pregnancies? Most importantly, what can parents do to prevent their children from becoming teen parents? To begin, society and parents must be aware of the factors that increase the likelihood of teen pregnancies. These factors include:

Family
  • Single parent households
  • Single mothers’ dating behaviors
  • Lack of positive family interaction
  • Lack of parental supervision
  • Lack of positive parent-child communication
  • Mother was a teen parent
Peers
  • Sexual pressure from peers
  • Belief that most peers are sexually active
  • Having friends who are sexually active
  • Dating begins at an early age
  • Dating someone who is 3- 5 years older
Community/Culture
  • Lack of accurate sexual and reproductive health information
  • High rates of divorce, violent crime, teen suicides, and high school dropouts
  • Low community income
  • Lack of community coordinated programs for youth. Policies that deal with school failure, dropout rates, job opportunities, social support, and positive educational and recreational activities
Individual
  • Early onset of puberty
  • Siblings who are sexually active
  • Lack of spiritual life
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Low self-esteem
  • Limited education
  • Lack of future-oriented goals

By being aware of the factors that can influence teen pregnancies, parents, teens, and communities can work together to prevent and reduce teen pregnancies. It is only through these combined efforts that we can continue to make progress in providing Idaho teens with the necessary tools to make good choices and reducing unplanned teen pregnancies. Southeastern Idaho Public Health’s Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention program continues to strive to make the lives of southeast Idaho’s youth positive through awareness and outreach.