Reading Ability Linked To Teenage Pregnancies

Reading Ability Linked To Teenage Pregnancies

A new study from Philadelphia has found that if a girl has reading difficulties in seventh grade, then she is more likely to get pregnant in high school.

Previous research has found links between poor background, race and teenage pregnancy. This new study has said that even taking those things into account, there was still evidence that a girls literary abilities were connected to whether she became pregnant as a teenager.

Dr Krishna Upadhya, a reproductive health and teen pregnancy researcher from John Hopkins children Centre in Baltimore said "We certainly know that social disadvantages definitely play a part in teen pregnancy risk, and certainly poor educational achievement is one of those factors".

Dr Krishna believes that if a girl is showing poor academic results throughout her young life, she will grow up not able to see any future economic opportunities for herself.

Dr Ian Bennett from the University of Pennsylvania, and his team of researchers, looked at the reading scores of 12,339 seventh grade girls. They monitored their scores over 6 years.
During that time, 1,616 of the girls had a baby. of that, 201 had more than one pregnancy. They also found that Hispanic and African American girls were more likely to get pregnant than white girls, but their reading abilities were the surprising link.
  • 21% of girls who scored below average on their reading test went on to have babies.
  • 12% of girls who scored average went on to have babies
  • 5% of girls who were above average had babies
The team then looked at race and poverty, and found that two thirds of girls scoring below average were more likely to become pregnant during teenage years than average scoring girls.
These findings were published in the Contraception journal.

Dr Krishna said too many schools think that to prevent teen pregnancies in less educated girls, you simply need to involve more sex education in their curriculum. "This is really about adolescent health and development more broadly, so it's really important for us to make sure that kids are in schools and in quality education programmes, and that they have opportunities to grow and develop academically and vocationally" said Dr Krishna.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this story, please share them with the Direct2Mum family below;

What's Happening On Social Media