Background: Adolescent pregnancy and parenting is a concerning and relevant issue for child and adolescent psychiatrists. This article reviews the most recent English literature on psychosocial factors, intervention, prevention, and policy relating to pregnant and parenting teens in developed nations. Methods: Preference was given to longitudinal studies with large samples published after 2000. In cases where no such study exists, other older cross-sectional or retrospective studies were included with an emphasis on literature published in the past 5 years. Results: Risk for teenage pregnancy is associated with psychiatric distress, arrest, substance abuse, lack of social support, and economic disadvantage. Predictors of improved outcome for the adolescent parent include support from a cohesive family, attainment of educational goals, and decreased social isolation. Depression in the adolescent mother is associated with decreased maternal confidence in ability to parent, decreased perceived social support, and discord with family members. Effective pharmacologic treatment of depression and careful consideration of complicating psychosocial factors is required when evaluating and treating a pregnant or parenting teen. Conclusions: Future research and intervention strategies for this unique population should utilize evidenced based strategies, address cultural disparities, utilize family members and partners, and incorporate HIV/STI testing. Interventions utilizing novel media and technology, such as virtual reality and social networking, are an exciting area of future study.
Keywords: Adolescent pregnancy, adolescent parenting, teenage parenting, teenage pregnancy, contraception, Disease Control, sexual, mental health, cross-sectional, retrospective studies, Psychiatric Considerations, psychiatric disorders, unsafe sexual behavior, childbearing, retrospective data, externalizing disorders, mania, hyperactivity disorders, vaginal, anal sex, chronic distress, psychopathology, nulliparous adolescents, mortality ratios, suicide, psychosocial factors, maternal, sexual intercourse, autonomy, social milestones, child neglect, socioeconomic, buffer, recidivism, family planning, peer-led, multilingual clinical staff, reinforcing, childbirth, appropriate parenting, lactation, endocrinological, post-partum period, INTERVENTION PROGRAMS, sexual education, sexual activity, condom, sex practices, contraceptive methods