Online Program

Community partnership designed to delay a second pregnancy among very young adolescent mothers

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pat W. Mosena, PhD, Options for Youth, Chicago, IL
Sheila Webb, M.S., Options for Youth, Chicago, IL
Since 1994, the Illinois Subsequent Pregnancy Program (SPP) has helped more than 4,000 first-time adolescent mothers from 50 communities in Illinois 1) delay a second pregnancy and 2) remain in or graduate from high school. This program grew directly out of research on teenage AFDC mothers in Chicago, which suggested the rapid birth of a second baby while still a teenager often means school drop-out and welfare dependency. In partnership with the state of Illinois, the Subsequent Pregnancy Program model was developed working directly with SPP Home Visitors from seven community agencies. One of the most effective home visiting programs in the country, SPP provides 1) a personal relationship with a Subsequent Pregnancy Home Visitor and 2) intense training through participation in an Advisory Group. Among 4,500 young mothers who have participated, 98% delayed a second pregnancy while in SPP and 93% of those eligible to graduate receive their high school diploma each year. Young mothers who join SPP had their baby before the age of 18; 51% were themselves the daughters of teen mothers; and almost all are growing up in poverty. Outcomes among SPP participants (African American, Caucasian, and Mexican) demonstrate that investment in these very young mothers can change their life course. High school graduation rates among adolescent mothers in SPP are twice the national average for pregnant and parenting teens. By helping these young mothers delay a second pregnancy and complete their high school education, we are breaking the intergenerational cycle of early childbearing and poverty.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe a community-based program model designed to help adolescent mothers, who have a baby before the age of 18, delay a second pregnancy and graduate from high school. Discuss the curriculum and training strategy supporting SPP program efforts across Illinois. Discuss factors associated with low rates of repeat pregnancies among SPP participants over time and diverse populations of adolescent mothers.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Teen Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I founded the Subsequent Pregnancy Program (SPP) based upon my empirical research on adolescent welfare mothers in Chicago and have served as Director of SPP for the past twenty years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.