As a nursing professional, addressing the cause and not the symptoms of societal concerns in relation to teenage pregnancy would be the ideal. In order for a profession to evoke transition in this or any aggregate, it is important for that profession to correlate those macro perspectives, which influence poor lifestyle choices and how these choices may be approached in a health promotion perspective. It is the intent of this dissertation to relate current statistical information, some societal factors involved in the increased numbers of teenage pregnancy, and the nursing implications to this issue.
Despite education about birth control and the negative connotations in regards to procreation in the adolescent, the number of teenage pregnancies in the United States are very significant. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy that approximately one million teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 get pregnant each year in the
United States and that nearly eighty percent (80%) of these pregnancies are to unmarried teens. Move than one half of teen pregnancies end in birth and fewer teens choose abortion or adoption. In the United States, teen pregnancies contribute to at least $7 billion in cost and the United States is ranked as having the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world (1998).
It has been noted that the educational success is significantly restrained by teenage pregnancy for both the teen and her child. Jane Manlove states that less than one-third of teens that begin families before the age of 18 ever complete high school and approximately fifty percent (50%) of teen mothers that had quit school did so before becoming pregnant and the other half dropped out after becoming pregnant. Children of teen parents often do worse in school and are fifty percent (50%) more likely to repeat a grade (1998).
With these statistics, the nursing professional addressing a macro perspective to the issue would need to look at what are some of the influences, which increase teenage pregnancy, specifically societal contributions. According to Nola Pender that health promotion involves strategies related to an individual lifestyle and personal choices made in a social context that have a strong influence over one’s own health expectations (1996).
Keeping this ideal in mind and looking at some areas which may be addressed are the higher numbers of teenage pregnancy linked to lack of education, self esteem uncertainties, lack of access to the health care delivery system, relationships pressures, and access to medical expulsions of unwanted pregnancies.
Looking at strategies to improve lack of education first, nurses should get involved in the political arena to develop and encourage referendums in legislative policies to get the needed education to the target population. This should be accomplished at the local, state, and national levels to encompass that macro perspective. Nursing professionals must maintain that professional status by presenting