Addressing an At Risk Youth Problem in Your Community
Building upon your work in your module 3 research paper, you were to propose an intervention or prevention strategy to address the youth risk that you identified in your own community. This can involve developing a new program* or implementing an already-existing program. Your intervcention proposal should include the following:
1. An overview of the youth risk in your community (you may summarize information from your previous paper in this section)
2. A description of your intervention or prevention strategy
What are the goals of your program (what specifically do you hope to accomplish)?
Explain how the strategies will work to address the category of youth risk that you are targeting. What activities will be carried out?
Explain your rationale for choosing the intervention or prevention strategy
Identify where your program falls on each of the following: the risk continuum; the approach continuum, and prevention-treatment continuum
Which of the “5 Cs” are addressed and how?
For already-existing programs, describe the evidence base that supports the effectiveness of the program
What resources (staff, equipment, materials, etc.) will be needed?
3. A description of how you will advocate for the creation of your program
Identify groups and individuals in your community who will need to support your program in order for it to be successful; briefly explain what you will do to help bring them “on board”
What policies, laws, or practices in your community might need to change to support your program? How would you advocate for those changes?
*Remember that there are many programs available that have evidence to support their effectiveness and it is best to use evidence-based strategies whenever possible. When trying to alleviate problems in the community, there is often no need to “reinvent the wheel.”
Your paper should be 6-8 pages in length and formatted according to APA guidelines.
Teen Pregnancy STI and Risky Behavior
Teen Pregnancy STI and Risky Behavior
According to WHO, teenage pregnancy is pregnancy in females under the age of twenty. Most parents find the issue embarrassing, and as a result, they find it hard to accept the situation or deal with it positively. Inadequate access to information about reproductive health and sexual health, and rights to teenagers is mostly responsible for teenage pregnancy. In many cases, teenage pregnancy is associated with risky sexual behavior, which contributes to the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections. Together teenage pregnancies, STIs, and risky sexual behavior continue to be one of the major health, financial, and social problems all over the country, especially in New York. According to experts, abstinence education is not effective; this means that it is necessary to develop alternative strategies to alleviate the problem. Therefore, this essay will analyze teen pregnancy, STI, and risky behavior in teenagers in New York and all over the country between 12 and 19 years.
Risk and Protective Factors for Youth between 12 and 19 Years
Teenage pregnancies, STIs, and risky sexual behavior still continue to be a continuous problem in society. According to research, American youths are initiating risky sexual behaviors at a very young age. At this age, they know nothing about protecting themselves or practicing safer sexual behaviors, an aspect that explains the spike in teenage pregnancy in the country. Inadequate sexual education is mainly to blame for the sharp increase in teenagers’ poor behaviors and reproductive choices. In the face of these problems, society has managed to increase protective factors such as increasing the sources of sexual education among teenagers in schools and community centers (Waddell et al., 2010). This means giving them basic information on how bodies work and the symptoms of STIs and pregnancy.
High poverty levels are another risk factor for youth ages between 12 and 19 years that further fuels the problem. Teenage pregnancy rates are highest in New York than in any other state, mainly because of the living conditions of many persons. Risky sexual behavior, STIs, and teenage pregnancy are particularly high among Hispanics and African-Americans living in poor neighborhoods, with a disproportionate burden of poor health and burden of poverty. This is because the use of contraceptives lowers in disadvantaged communities (Travers et al., 2019). The little money earned is used to provide for health care needs and other important needs such as education. As a result, most of the residents cannot afford to get contraceptives. Teens in disadvantaged communities are also very probable to indulge in risky sexual behavior than their counterparts in the rest of the city. Risk factors for these teenagers were influenced by factors such as race, age, grade, and living conditions.
Extent and Nature of Problem Nationwide
Internationally, the United States of America has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy, STIs, and risky sexual behaviors compared to any other developed nation. The statistics are alarming, especially on adolescents the extent of sexual behaviors. Experts also warn that many American youths engage in sexual activity at a young age, and many American youths are engaging in sexual activity before the age of fifteen. Teenage pregnancy rates in the country are twice those experienced in other Western countries such as Canada and Britain. Each year about 950,000 teenagers in the United States get pregnant. About 45% of all those pregnancies are unwanted. In every a thousand births in the United States, more than fifty-seven occur in females aged between 15 and 19 years.
Moreover, almost half of all cases of STIs in the country are reposted from teenagers and older adults less than 25 years. Annually, about three million adolescents are infected with sexually transmitted infections in America. It is approximated that at least one in nine adolescents will contract a sexually transmitted disease before they are twenty-five years old. The costs of Teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections are felt by all in society; particularly, the problem has direct financial costs to the society. Each year millions are spent in treatment, diagnosis, medical visits money that could have otherwise been used to develop the community. The taxpayers mostly feel the implications of covering these costs by being taxed more. To the disadvantaged communities, the problem continues the cycle of poverty which is induced by high dropout rates. Social problems such as poor health issues and child welfare continue to affect these communities. The financial cost of having a child is very high; this gets particularly devastating for teenagers with no source of income whatsoever.
Intervention and Prevention Strategies Successful in Alleviating the Problem
Over the years, many intervention and prevention strategies have been developed to reduce teenage pregnancy rates and risky sexual behavior. This is because the emotional, educational, and psychological harm felt on these teenagers is irreversible. Most of these interventions have been unsuccessful in reducing these rates; however, at the same time, a few have proven to be effective and helpful to many teenagers in the country (Travers et al., 2019). The most successful strategy adopted so far is quality sexual education for teenagers all over the country. These benefits have been especially felt in New York Bronx. The increase of sex education in the region saw an increase in the number of teenagers ready to take charge of their lives by avoiding irresponsible behavior. Health care centers in the Bronx noted an increase in the number of teenagers using contraceptives. From 2011 the number increased by over 100% from two in 2011 to 173 in the year 2014.
Access to contraceptives is another intervention strategy that has reported a lot of success in alleviating teenage pregnancy. People of Colorado can attest to the efficiency of this multidimensional approach in reducing pregnancy rates in the region. From 2009 to 2014, Colorado reported a drop of over 48% in the overall pregnancy rates. One many argue that these rates fell nationwide in those years, but Colorado reported the biggest decrease than any state. Many health cares and government officials have credited this success to the family planning initiative introduced in the region in collaboration with nonprofit organizations and school boards. With the program, a lot of changes were seen in Colorado learning institutions; for instance, teenagers had improved access to contraceptives. Although such policies may appear controversial, many experts have since supported the initiative in more states.
Despite the fact that teenage pregnancy, STIs, and risky behaviors have dropped in the United States over the past two decades, we are still a long way from alleviating the problem in the country. According to the World Population Review, teenage pregnancy rates in New York are 11.8%. Although the figure has reduced over the years, the rates are still high compared to the national average. Most teen births in New York reduced significantly between 1991 to 2009, there are still teen births in the region, but in most cases, they happen to older teens, mostly aged between 18 and 19 years. Additionally, only 14% of the total births recorded were to teenagers who had previously given birth.
As of 2013, there were about 29,000 teen pregnancies in New York; these rates were mostly seen in teens aged between 15 and 9 years (Power to Decide, 2022). Looking at rates of STIs and risky sexual behavior in the region, notable drops have been reported. Generally, between 2018 and 2019, the rates dropped by 4%. In this way, the state has managed to save a lot of resources due to the decline. As of 2015, the city had managed to save about $320 million. However, rates of teen birth are heavily influenced by the aspect of race; today, the highest pregnancy rates in the region are still experienced in poor neighborhoods (Waddell et al., 2010). African-American and Hispanic teenagers make up the largest portion of teenagers who give birth in New York.
Strategies Used to Address the Problem in New York
New York has adopted a number of strategies to reduce the rates of pregnancy and risky behavior sexual among teenagers. Recent trends suggest that some of these strategies have been effective in their implementation and execution among teenagers at the school and community levels. Currently, some schools have adopted strategies to advise teenagers to delay sexual activity. Still, in most cases, although the strategy is not as effective, experts suggest that it has helped impact the lives of a few teenagers in the region.
However, the most effective strategy in the region has been sexual education. Empirical data suggest that helping teenagers understand their sexuality, how their body works, the use of contraceptives, protective sex, and how STIs spread has significantly lowered the rates of teenage pregnancy and risky sexual behavior in New York (Shannon& Klausner, 2018). Health care centers have reported an increase in the number of teenagers and parents open to the idea of the use of contraceptives. According to experts, this has gone a long way in curbing the pregnancy rates in the region. Moreover, sexual education at the school and community levels on sexuality has reported a sharp decline in risky behaviors among teenagers. More teenagers are comfortable with purchasing contraceptives such as condoms and seeking help whenever faced with a question on their sexuality. The delivery of this comprehensive education to teenagers and parents is one of the most successful strategies adopted by the state government.
The nationwide rates of teenage pregnancy and risky sexual behaviors are very high. The statistics are very alarming, and the problem continues to be one of the biggest social concerns of the country. Internationally, the United States has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and risky behavior than any other developed country. This means that there is a need to develop strategies to fill these gaps and reduce these rates among teenagers. In most cases, these problems result in irreversible mental and physical conditions for teenagers and other social implications to society. Epidemiological evidence suggests that the average American teenager starts engaging in sexual activity very young. This feature necessitates the adoption of the best prevention and intervention strategies.
Power to Decide, (2022). the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy.?A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Federal ID?Number (EIN):?52-1974611.
Shannon, C. L., & Klausner, J. D. (2018). The growing epidemic of sexually transmitted infections in adolescents: a neglected population.?Current opinion in pediatrics,?30(1), 137.
Travers, M., O?Uhuru, D., Mueller, T., & Bedell, J. (2019). Implementing Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinical Best Practice in the Bronx, New York. Journal of Adolescent Health, 64(3), 376?381. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.09.020
Waddell, E. N., Orr, M. G., Sackoff, J., & Santelli, J. S. (2010). Pregnancy Risk among Black, White, and Hispanic Teen Girls in New York City Public Schools. Journal of Urban Health, 87(3), 426?439. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-010-9454-4