A Systematic Review of Programs to Promote Aspects of Teen Parents’ Self-Sufficiency: Supporting Educational Outcomes and Healthy Birth Spacing

Publisher: Maternal and Child Health Journal
Jan 21, 2020
Jessica F. Harding, Jean Knab, Susan Zief, Kevin Kelly, and Diana McCallum

Expectant and parenting teens experience many challenges to achieving self-sufficiency and promoting their children’s healthy development. Teen parents need support to help them address these challenges, and many different types of programs aim to support them. This systematic review examines the research about programs that aim to support aspects of teen parents’ self-sufficiency by promoting their educational outcomes and healthy birth spacing.

As part of the systematic review, researchers conducted a comprehensive literature search of published and unpublished literature to identify studies of programs to support teen parents that met this review’s eligibility criteria. The quality and execution of the eligible study research designs were assessed to determine whether studies’ findings were at risk of bias. Researchers then extracted information about study characteristics, outcomes, and program characteristics for studies considered to provide rigorous evidence.

Key Findings:

  • Fifty-eight eligible studies were identified.
  • Twenty-three studies were considered to provide rigorous evidence about either education, contraceptive use, or repeat pregnancy or birth.
  • Seventeen of these studies showed at least one favorable effect on an outcome in one of these domains, whereas the other six did not show any significant or substantial effects in these domains. These seventeen studies represent 14 effective programs.

Evaluating Selected Programs for Expectant and Parenting Youth


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Diana McCallum
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Jessica Harding
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Jean Knab
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Susan Zief
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