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Abstract

Background: We describe challenges to recruitment and retention of teen mothers in a study to prevent repeat teen pregnancies, and strategies used to overcome them. Methods: We documented recruitment efforts, the teens who were retained at each stage of the intervention and changes to strategies. Results: Challenges to recruitment and retention were related to lifestyles, immaturity, and competing demands, among others. Successful strategies included bus advertisements, early pairing of teens with mentors, using electronic media, convenient meeting times with a meal, providing child care, transportation vouchers and immediate incentives. Conclusions: This study highlights impediments to teen mother research recruitment and retention, and the value of emerging technologies and strong bonding relationships early in the intervention to maximize recruitment and retention.

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