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May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Present the latest statistics and information on teen sexual health issues to your patients and community by collecting information from the following web sites:
• Adolescence Directory On-Line. http://education.indiana.edu/cas/adol/adol.html.
Adolescence Directory On-Line, a service of the Center for Adolescent Studies at Indiana University, is an electronic guide to information on adolescent issues. Links of interest to educators, counselors, parents, researchers, health practitioners, and teens are featured, including those on sexual health and mental health issues.
• Child Trends. www.childtrends.org.
Child Trends is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies children, youth, and families through research, data collection, and data analysis. It offers research data on adolescent sexual behavior; some is available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) format. A timely publication is Facts At A Glance 2001, which covers a broad cross-section of teen sexual health issues.
• KIDS COUNT. www.aecf.org/kidscount.
KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of U.S. children. One feature of the initiative is the publication of the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, published since 1990, which uses the best available data to measure the educational, social, economic, and physical well-being of children on a state-by-state basis. Take a look at such indicators as percent of low birth-weight babies; infant mortality rate; child death rate; rate of teen deaths by accident, homicide, and suicide; teen birth rate; percent of children living with parents who do not have full-time, year-round employment; percent of teens who are high school dropouts; percent of teens not attending school and not working; percent of children in poverty; and percent of families with children headed by a single parent. The Data Book also provides background information for each state, including demographic and family income data.
• National Adolescent Health Information Center. http://youth.ucsf.edu/nahic.
The National Adolescent Health Information Center (NAHIC), established in 1993, is based within the University of California, San Francisco’s Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and Institute for Health Policy Studies. Download the PDF files or order printed copies of the center’s publications, including America’s Adolescents: Are They Healthy?, a monograph that describes the health status of adolescents with a focus on health care access and utilization, mortality, and risky behaviors. This report, recently updated, includes the most current national data available on specific adolescent health issues such as substance use, sexual behavior, violence, and unintentional injuries.
• National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. www.teenpregnancy.org.
The Washington, DC-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, founded in February 1996, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan initiative aimed at improving the well-being of children, youth, and families by reducing teen pregnancy. Its goal is to reduce the teen pregnancy rate by one-third between 1996 and 2005. Recent information issued by the campaign includes Not Just Another Single Issue: Teen Pregnancy Prevention’s Link to Other Critical Social Issues, which makes the case that preventing teen pregnancy should be viewed not only as a reproductive health issue, but as one that works to improve such measures as welfare dependency and overall child well-being, out-of-wedlock births, responsible fatherhood, and work force development.