Social Determinants of Adolescent Health and Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy and other adolescent health outcomes should be seen as a product of the conditions in which teens grow, live, learn, work and play–the “social determinants of health”–and not simply as the result of individual behaviors or family circumstances.

Many of our youth today live in stressful environments where unemployment may be high, violence and substance use may be present, and housing conditions poor. These social determinants impact how youth perceive their future, or lack thereof, and consequently their sexual decision-making and behavior.

The Working with Diverse Communities component works to build the capacity of Part A grantees to 1) raise awareness with community partners about the link between teen pregnancy and social determinants of health, 2) identify social determinants of health that impact teen pregnancy in their communities that are feasible to change, and 3) integrate social determinants of health that impact teen pregnancy into their work and evaluation plans.

Within this section you will find Social Determinants resources and tools that will help you to do these things, including foundational documents on social determinants of health and health inequities, strategies for communicating effectively about social determinants, and tools for prioritizing social determinants for action at the community level.

Race Matters: Unequal Opportunities for Adolescent Reproductive Health

The Annie E. Casey Foundation— This fact sheet highlights the barriers and consequences to unequal opportunity especially as it relates to adolescent reproductive health, and provides simple strategies to promote equal opportunities. PDF

Plain Talk: The Story of a Community-Based Strategy to Reduce Teen Pregnancy

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1998– The real stories and lessons learned from the launching of this initiative in 5 distinctly different communities demonstrate that engaging and training community residents to deliver outreach and education to adults and teens can bring about real and positive change. PDF