Poor reading skills tied to risk of teen pregnancy
- Aurangabad arms haul case: MCOCA court convicts 12 including Abu Jundal
- Rajnath Singh to visit Pakistan in August, attend Saarc meet
- Indigo flight makes emergency landing in Mumbai after passenger creates ruckus
- Assam floods: Sonowal directs ministers to visit constituencies as situation worsens
- Bhagwant Mann: Didn't breach security, even TV channels broadcast from Parliament
Seventh grade girls who have trouble reading are more likely to get pregnant in high school than average or above-average readers, according to a new study from Philadelphia.
Researchers found that pattern stuck even after they took into account the girls' race and poverty in their neighborhoods - both of which are tied to teen pregnancy rates.
"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.
Poor academic skills may play into how teens see their future economic opportunities and influence the risks they take - even if those aren't conscious decisions, explained Upadhya, who wasn't involved in the new research.
Dr. Ian Bennett from the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues looked up standardized test reading scores for 12,339 seventh grade girls from 92 different Philadelphia public schools and tracked them over the next six years.
During that period, 1,616 of the teenagers had a baby, including 201 that gave birth two or three times.
Hispanic and African American girls were more likely than white girls to get pregnant. But education appeared to play a role, as well.
Among girls who scored below average on their reading tests, 21 percent went on to have a baby as a teenager. That compared to 12 percent who had average scores and five percent of girls who scored above average on the standardized tests.
Once race and poverty were taken into consideration, girls with below-average reading skills were two and a half times more likely to have a baby than average-scoring girls, according to findings published in the journal Contraception.
Birth rates among girls ages 15 through 19 were at a record low in the U.S. in 2011 at 31 births for every 1,000 girls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that rate is still much higher in minority and poorer girls than in white, well-off ones, researchers noted.
- The amended act legalises child labour while claiming to do the opposite
- The concept of private members’ bill is central to a deliberative democracy
- Mahasweta Devi drew imaginary landscapes to narrate stories of the oppressed
- With the latest figures on industrial output, the case for a stimulus is pressing
- An open letter to new students entering Jawaharlal Nehru University
- Irom Sharmila calling off her fast against the AFSPA reflects the state’s failure to engage