A new study has found a link between pre-teen literacy and teen pregnancy.
Evaluating data collected from 12,339 seventh grade girls, the study found seventh grade girls with “less than average reading skills” were 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant in high school than girls with an average reading level.
The study also found seventh grade girls with above average reading skills were less likely to get pregnant in high school than girls with average reading skills.
“Twenty-one percent of seventh grade girls with below
average reading skills ended up pregnant during teen years.”
Overall, 21 percent of seventh grade girls with below average reading skills ended up becoming pregnant during their teen years.
Race also played a factor in the study and seemed to compound with literary problems, as black and Hispanic seventh graders with poor reading skills were even more likely to become pregnant as teenagers than their white peers.
“We certainly know that social disadvantages definitely play a part in teen pregnancy risk, and certainly poor educational achievement is one of those factors,” said Dr. Krishna Upadhya, a reproductive health and teen pregnancy researcher from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.
“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 educational programs and that they have opportunities to grow and develop academically and vocationally,” she said.
Source: ContraceptionJournal.org. Photo source: staticflickr.com.