Periodical Title

Journal of Adolescent and Family Health






University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


July 2014


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.

Cover Page Footnote

Acknowledgements: This research study was funded by the Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh PA, grant number B7982. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect those of the funding agency.


Adolescent health services; Families -- Health and hygiene


adolescent mothers; attrition; pregnancy prevention; recruitment; repeat pregnancy; teen


Medicine and Health Sciences | Social Welfare

Document Type





23 leaves






Manuscript file and cover letter have been updated for MS# 1008 (figures and tables have not changed). Please note that MS# 1009 in your system is a duplicate copy of MS# 1008 (submit button may have been hit twice in initial upload). Response to Reviewers: Submission to the Journal of Adolescent and Family Health Manuscript entitled “Strategies for Recruitment and Retention of Teen Mothers in a Program to Prevent Repeat Pregnancy” Response to Reviewers’ Comments. The recruitment and retention efforts need to be better situated in the larger research project. Possibly in the introduction, work to connect the rationale for publishing this aspect of the program with the results from the intervention itself. • See revised paragraph in Introduction. Note that we use the data to support the need to write the manuscript, but do not report the results of the intervention per se. Another aspect that could be added to your introduction is giving some idea about the logical connection between the success of the intervention and the recruitment and retention efforts. There is also a need for a clearer statement of the purpose of this study. • See revised paragraph in Introduction. Furthermore, the data in the introduction coming from 2008 might be updated, if there is more recent relevant data available. • This article was published in 2012 and is the most recent available, to our knowledge. The research design needs to be addressed, as do the reasons the recruitment and retention efforts became the focus of the manuscript. • See revised paragraph in Introduction. On page 18, the paragraph starting with “Of the 69 teen mothers…" needs to be clarified. Our reviewers feel this information would be important in the introduction, as it gives a rationale for studying the recruitment and retention efforts. • We alluded to this information in the introduction and quoted the exact information here to allow us to compare our findings with other studies. Finally, the conclusion needs strengthening. Our reviewers recommend including implications for research and grants for this population and specific recommendations for those working with this population. • We have added other strategies to the conclusion. Were there hypotheses for this aspect of the research? This needs to be clarified. Discussion of hypotheses could smooth the transitions between sections, and offer a more well-rounded conclusion. • The original strategies used were based on previous research experience and others’ published research. When we realized how our strategies had to be revised, we decided to write the paper to help other investigators avoid these pitfalls.