pregnantA comprehensive study of teenagers reading scores has indicated that those with below average levels are two-and-a-half times more likely to get pregnant than those with above average reading skills.

Having looked at more than 12,000 children aged 12-13, researchers from the University of Pennyslvania found that "literacy strongly predicts risk of teenage childbearing independent of confounders".

They found this was the case even after taking into account race and poverty in their neighborhoods, both of have been previously linked teen pregnancy rates.

The group were tracked form six years, during which time 1,616 of the teenagers gave birth, including 201 that gave birth two or three times.

Among girls who scored below average on their reading tests, 21% went on to have a baby as a teenager.

This compared to 12% who had average scores and 5% of girls who scored above average on the tests.

Once race and poverty were taken into consideration, girls with below-average reading skills were two-and-a-half times more likely to have a baby than average-scoring girls.

Read the full study at www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824(12)00749-4/abstract 

Posted 09/01/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com