University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Almost 20% of teen mothers have more than one child before age 20. Researchers have implemented many interventions to prevent subsequent births. The purpose of this study was to examine their effectiveness in preventing repeat pregnancy/birth. We searched nine electronic databases for eligible studies conducted through September, 2014; 47 primary studies met our criteria and provided 52 comparisons. We coded the primary studies for characteristics related to study source, participants, interventions, methods, and outcomes. Using meta-analytic techniques, we calculated intervention effect sizes (ESs) on repeat pregnancy/birth within three time periods: <15 months after the first>birth, 15-35 months, and after 36-60 months. Primary studies included 219,086 teen mothers with a mean age of 16.9 years. Interventions had a medium effect in reducing repeat pregnancy/birth for each time period. Teen mothers who received an intervention had 36-60% lower rates of repeat pregnancy/birth than control/comparison mothers. Of the many moderators examined for each time period, only a few explained additional variance. Our results indicate that interventions are moderately effective for as long as 60 months after a prior teen birth. It remains unclear which interventions are most effective, for which teens, and under what circumstances.


adolescent childbearing; repeat teen pregnancy; repeat teen birth; meta-analysis of interventions




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