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June 26, 1987

Reducing Adolescent Pregnancy Through School and Community-Based Education

JAMA. 1987;257(24):3382-3386. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390240088029

The resident population of the western portion of a South Carolina county has undergone a public health information and education intervention since October 1982. The purpose of the intervention has been to reduce the occurrence of unintended pregnancies among unmarried adolescents. Intervention messages are targeted at parents, teachers, ministers and representatives of churches, community leaders, and children enrolled in the public school system. The messages emphasize development of decision-making and communication skills, self-esteem enhancement, and understanding human reproductive anatomy, physiology, and contraception. The estimated rate of pregnancy ([live births plus fetal deaths plus induced abortions] per 1000 female population) for females aged 14 to 17 years in the county's western portion has declined remarkably since the intervention began, and the changes are statistically significant when compared with three sociodemographically similar counties and also with the eastern portion of the county.

(JAMA 1987;257:3382-3386)