The Adolescent Family Life Program as a prevention measure
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The Adolescent Family Life Program as a prevention measure

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    Public Health Rep
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    Adolescent pregnancy and parenthood remain a source of considerable concern, not only due to the well-documented adverse consequences of teenage pregnancy, but also because of certain trends that emerged during the seventies. Survey results showed a dramatic upsurge in premarital sexual activity, while pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases rose. Out-of-wedlock births also increased. The Adolescent Family Life Program is a new Federal Government effort to deal with the resultant complex of problems.THE PROGRAM HAS TWO MAJOR THRUSTS: (a) preventing adolescent pregnancies by emphasizing the strategy of reaching adolescents before they become sexually active and (b) preventing various negative consequences of pregnancy that often occur among adolescent parents and their off spring. The Program is funding projects that demonstrate and evaluate innovative services in order to obtain knowledge about what works best under given circumstances in both instances. Later, proven models will be made available for adaptation by local communities.Education about the responsibilities of sexuality and parenting will be among the prevention services encouraged in the funded projects. Care services to parenting adolescents include pre and postnatal care, nutrition counseling, continuing education, and vocational services.Through its research component, the Adolescent Family Life Program also has the potential for contributing to an understanding of how to prevent adolescent pregnancies and their adverse consequences. Research projects may encompass the causes and consequences of adolescent sexual relations, use of contraceptives, pregnancy, and child-rearing.Family involvement is a consistent theme in all efforts of the Adolescent Family Life Program. It is anticipated that results of the projects funded by the Program will illuminate ways to incorporate the family into a successful partnership aimed at preventing the problems of adolescent pregnancy.
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