The Importance of the Health Education Program Environment for Pregnant and Parenting Teens

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Teenage Pregnancy is recognized as one of this country's most critical social issues. Each year, one out of ten females aged 15 to 19 becomes pregnant. In addition, there are a number of documented complications and consequences for the pregnant teenagers, their children, families and society. In response a number of health education programs have been developed to meet the myriad needs of this aggregate. Unfortunately, most of this cohort do not participate in these health education programs. This study, a part of a larger study, was conducted to identify the health education program elements most important to attract and sustain the participation of pregnant and parenting teens in a health education program. The sociodemographics of the pregnant and parenting teens were identified and linked to program elements. Since sociodemographics are often the first information known about a target group, linking these demographics to health education program elements has implications for program development and marketing. An exploratory survey methodology was used in this study and data were analyzed by measures of central tendency, dispersion, and analysis of variance to understand better the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and importance of the health education program environment for pregnant and parenting teens.

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