Drop Out Rates Among Pregnant Teens

Drop out rates among pregnant teens show that teen pregnancy is the number one reason for teens dropping out of high school prior to graduation. With new efforts, the drop out rates among pregnant teens are beginning to slowly decline in states where assistance programs are available.

Out of high school drop outs, pregnant teens are the most likely to do so. Because of this, young teen mothers are more likely to encounter financial struggles and economic insecurity as they try to raise their child.  According to a recent study, many pregnant teens and teen mothers report they would have stayed in school if they had received greater support from the adults at the school. 

Drop out rates among pregnant teens

  • About 70 percent of all students who drop out of school early, do so because of teen pregnancy.
  • The drop out rates among pregnant teens is 90 percent across the United States.
  • Fortunately overall teen pregnancy rates are declining, which means drop out rates among pregnant teens are also declining in correlation. 
  • Pregnant teens who are Hispanic or black, or are from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, are more likely to be among the teen population to drop out of school while pregnant. 
  • About one million high school students become pregnant each year.
  • Federal law does not allow expulsion of a pregnant teen, but does not prohibit transfer to another specialty program or school for pregnant teens. A recent study found that transferring pregnant teens to these special schools or programs was part of their decision to drop out.

Teen pregnancy drop out prevention and solutions to the problem:

  • While shipping a pregnant teen to a different school to handle the problem has been found to not be the best solution. Many schools with teen pregnancy programs already instituted have found better results in keeping pregnant teens in school with higher rates of graduation among young teen mothers. 
  • According to one study, many pregnant teens miss frequent days of school due to medical appointments and prenatal care. The study concluded that many schools with school-based health centers are a good solutions to helping keeping the teens in school while receiving the necessary medical treatment. 
  • With programs like this installed in urban schools where the rates of teen pregnancy and pregnant teen drop out rates are higher, these numbers might go down even further, according to one study. 
  • One school district in York, Penn., found their drop out rates among pregnant teens dramatically lower than the national average because the district provides unique services and programs for pregnant teens, which has shown to improve the overall health of teenage mothers and their children through educational efforts. Drop out rates among pregnant teens continues to decline, which is at about a 9.5 percent drop out rate for pregnant teens compared to the 90- percent national average. 

Sources: archpedi.ama-assn.org, query.nytimes.com, aclu-wa.org, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Related Article: Teenage Abortion Statistics >>