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Pregnancy risk among older youth transitioning out of foster care

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  • Matta Oshima, Karen M.
  • Narendorf, Sarah Carter
  • McMillen, J. Curtis

Abstract

Youth served in the foster care system have higher rates of pregnancy than general population youth; yet we have little information about risk and protective factors to target in order to prevent early pregnancy in this population. We assessed early pregnancy risk and protective factors known for general population adolescents for their relevance to youth in the foster care system. Using data from a longitudinal study of 325 older youth from the foster care system, we examined bivariate and multivariate relationships between these factors and pregnancy between ages 17 and 19 using logistic regression. Models examined the risk for early parenting separately by gender. The pregnancy rate increased by 300% between ages 17 and 19. At 19, 55% of females had been pregnant, while 23% of males had fathered a child. Although this study assessed multiple known factors, few were significant for this high risk group. Females who were not sexually active at age 17 were less likely to become pregnant, but those who reported using birth control were as likely to become pregnant as those who did not. Also, females with a history of arrest were more likely to have a pregnancy between 17 and 19. Males who left the foster care system before their 19th birthday were more likely to make someone pregnant. Youth from the foster care system are at exceptional risk of early pregnancy, regardless of their maltreatment history, religiosity, school connectedness, or academic achievement, particularly in the years between 17 and 19. This high risk group needs pregnancy prevention interventions and access to effective birth control.

Suggested Citation

  • Matta Oshima, Karen M. & Narendorf, Sarah Carter & McMillen, J. Curtis, 2013. "Pregnancy risk among older youth transitioning out of foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1760-1765.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:35:y:2013:i:10:p:1760-1765
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.08.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dworsky, Amy & Courtney, Mark E., 2010. "The risk of teenage pregnancy among transitioning foster youth: Implications for extending state care beyond age 18," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1351-1356, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lieberman, Lisa D. & Kaplan, Alejandra & Scholey, Laura & Kohomban, Jeremy & Lausell-Bryant, Linda, 2020. "Strategic partners: Enhancing the ability of foster care agencies to serve the special needs of young mothers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    2. Shpiegel, Svetlana & Cascardi, Michele, 2018. "The impact of early childbirth on socioeconomic outcomes and risk indicators of females transitioning out of foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 1-8.
    3. Taylor, Rebecca J. & Shade, Kate & Lowry, Sarah J. & Ahrens, Kym, 2020. "Evaluation of reproductive health education in transition-age youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    4. Roberts, Louise & Maxwell, Nina & Elliott, Martin, 2019. "When young people in and leaving state care become parents: What happens and why?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 1-1.
    5. Gill, Amy & Grace, Rebekah & Waniganayake, Manjula & Hadley, Fay, 2020. "Practitioner and foster carer perceptions of the support needs of young parents in and exiting out-of-home care: A systematic review," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    6. Greeson, Johanna K.P. & Garcia, Antonio R. & Tan, Fei & Chacon, Alexi & Ortiz, Andrew J., 2020. "Interventions for youth aging out of foster care: A state of the science review," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    7. Cassarino-Perez, Luciana & Crous, Gemma & Goemans, Anouk & Montserrat, Carme & Sarriera, Jorge Castellà, 2018. "From care to education and employment: A meta-analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 407-416.
    8. Harmon-Darrow, Caroline & Burruss, Karen & Finigan-Carr, Nadine, 2020. "“We are kind of their parents”: Child welfare workers’ perspective on sexuality education for foster youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    9. Miller, Elizabeth A. & Paschall, Katherine W. & Azar, Sandra T., 2017. "Latent classes of older foster youth: Prospective associations with outcomes and exits from the foster care system during the transition to adulthood," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 495-505.
    10. Radey, Melissa & Schelbe, Lisa & McWey, Lenore M. & Holtrop, Kendal & Canto, Angela I., 2016. "“It's really overwhelming”: Parent and service provider perspectives of parents aging out of foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 1-10.
    11. Ramseyer Winter, Virginia & Brandon-Friedman, Richard A. & Ely, Gretchen E., 2016. "Sexual health behaviors and outcomes among current and former foster youth: A review of the literature," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-14.
    12. Sarah A. Font & Maria Cancian & Lawrence M. Berger, 2019. "Prevalence and Risk Factors for Early Motherhood Among Low-Income, Maltreated, and Foster Youth," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(1), pages 261-284, February.
    13. Narendorf, Sarah Carter & Munson, Michelle R. & Levingston, Fredreka, 2013. "Managing moods and parenting: Perspectives of former system youth who struggle with emotional challenges," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 1979-1987.
    14. Roberts, Louise & Long, Sara Jayne & Young, Honor & Hewitt, Gillian & Murphy, Simon & Moore, Graham F., 2018. "Sexual health outcomes for young people in state care: Cross-sectional analysis of a national survey and views of social care professionals in Wales," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 281-288.
    15. Greeson, Johanna K.P. & Thompson, Allison E. & Ali, Samira & Wenger, Rebecca Stern, 2015. "It's good to know that you got somebody that's not going anywhere: Attitudes and beliefs of older youth in foster care about child welfare-based natural mentoring," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 140-149.
    16. Roberts, Louise & Meakings, Sarah & Forrester, Donald & Smith, Audra & Shelton, Katherine, 2017. "Care-leavers and their children placed for adoption," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 355-361.
    17. De Wet, Nicole, 2019. "The association between mother's socioeconomic status and non-orphan kinship care arrangements in South Africa," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 79-86.
    18. McMahon, Robert C. & Fields, Samantha A., 2015. "Criminal conduct subgroups of “aging out” foster youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 14-19.

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