Teen Pregnancy in Cedonia and Frankford

Subject: Healthcare Research
Pages: 6
Words: 1733
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7 min

The introduction of programs to improve the life of communities is a vital part of social work. It requires significant preparation, and the step of needs assessment is crucial to understanding the potential and requirements for a program to be successful (Crumpton, 2020). The following research plan will consider the problem for a needs assessment, discussing the potential research questions and types and sources of data required to answer them.

BNIA Indicator

The selected indicator for this research plan is the teen birth rate in the communities of Cedonia and Frankford, which have joined statistics on the official website of the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA, 2020). According to the BNIA (2020), out of every 1,000 females aged 15 to 19, 28.4 of them gave birth. While these rates are not the highest among all Baltimore neighborhoods, they are higher than those of Baltimore City (BNIA, 2020). Furthermore, the rates in 2018 have increased compared to two previous years, which shows a concerning trend that has to be explored in the needs assessment.

Social Problem to Be Addressed in the Needs Assessment

Teen pregnancy is an issue that has a substantial and long-lasting impact on young women and their children. Moreover, it entails economic and social costs, creating further problems in the community. First of all, pregnant teenagers face unique healthcare risks – they are less likely to have access to adequate prenatal care than adults (Coyle et al., 2016). This can potentially endanger teens in the long-term, especially if they already have health concerns that can be exacerbated by pregnancy. Prenatal visits are necessary to monitor the health of the mother and the fetus, including nutrition, potential birth defects, and pregnancy-related conditions (such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure).

Young women’s mental health is also at risk – pregnant teenagers have higher rates of postpartum depression (Smith et al., 2018). This statistic is connected to the societal stigma surrounding pregnant teenagers, the lack of family or peer support networks, education, employment rates, and the responsibility of raising a child. Isolation is another concern for young women who may fear the reaction of their parents or a partner due to pregnancy.

Apart from individual problems, teen pregnancy is a social issue that leads to a worse quality of life. Teenage mothers have a high rate of dropping out of school; only about half of them receive a high school diploma by 22, while young women without teenage pregnancy graduate high school in 90% of cases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019). Teen mothers also have fewer economic opportunities and experience higher rates of incarceration, unemployment, and early health problems (CDC, 2019). It is vital to note that the issue affects minorities disproportionally. Although rates drop for all groups, non-white Hispanic, Black, and Native American teenagers as well as young lesbian and bisexual women have much higher rates of teen pregnancy than their white and heterosexual counterparts (CDC, 2019; Charlton et al., 2018). Thus, this issue has to be considered for an intervention to improve the lives of young women and increase their opportunities in personal and professional achievement.

Central Research Questions

To identify the research questions for future intervention, the evaluator has to collaborate with stakeholders for the problem. Teenage pregnancy is a concern that involves healthcare workers, social workers, government officials, and teenagers. Each of these groups can offer knowledge and insight into the problem and share their opinions on which teens require immediate help and which types of intervention may be the most effective. The topic discussed in the research plan requires the evaluator to pose the following research questions for the needs assessment:

  1. What are the characteristics and unmet needs of pregnant teenagers and teens with increased risk of pregnancy in Cedonia/Frankford?
  2. What services and programs are available for the prevention of teen pregnancy in Cedonia/Frankford at the moment?
  3. What problems and deficiencies do the existing services in Cedonia/Frankford have, and which services are working well?
  4. What are the characteristics of an effective intervention to address the high rate of teen pregnancies in Cedonia/Frankford?

Types and Sources of Data to Determine the Characteristics of Teen Birth Rates and Service Deficiencies that Currently Exist to Address This Problem

How the problem is experienced by individuals, families, or other problem targets

Types of data needed

The problem of teen pregnancy primarily affects young women between the ages of 15 and 19, however it is an issue that requires the input of other individuals as well. To understand how this issue impacts teenagers, the evaluators need to collect data about the risk factors for teen pregnancy. Thus, it is crucial to find the underlying reasons that lead to increased numbers of pregnancies among teens.

Sources of data

This type of information can be obtained from pregnant teens and teenage mothers themselves, as well as medical professionals and social workers who are experienced in this research area. The first group of informants has the first-person experience and can talk about their lives and their decisions or feelings about the issues. The second group possesses knowledge about the systemic influence on teenagers and the structures in which they live.

Extent of the problem

Types of data needed

In this case, “extent” refers to the number of people experiencing the issue in relation to the total size of the population. The estimation of the extent is more challenging than a simple agreement that it exists (Rossi et al., 2018). Data needed to find the ways in which teen pregnancy affects people is the rate of teen pregnancy in Cedonia/Frankford. For example, the primary number that has to be assessed in the number of teen pregnancies in the region and the trends throughout the years in the community, area, and state.

Sources of data

The amount of data has to represent the at-risk population adequately (Crumpton, 2020). Thus, the primary source of information is official statistics obtained by the BNIA and similar local organizations. Data from healthcare organizations is too challenging to access, and it may not show all teens who gave birth since many young people cannot access healthcare. Census data on children is another potential channel of information.

Demographics of the targets that experience the problem

Types of data needed

It is clear that not all teens are equally affected by the problem of pregnancy. Therefore, the evaluator has to consider such characteristics as race and ethnicity, age, education, disability status, socioeconomic position, and family and romantic relationships. These types of data are vital for understanding which groups of teenagers are the most vulnerable to the identified issue and how can an intervention approach help them to reach success.

Sources of data

The data described above can be collected with the help of the U.S. Census Bureau and the BNIA. Moreover, one can consider collaborating with local medical organizations to access records of teenage pregnancies – although this option has many potential ethical concerns (Crumpton, 2020). Such organizations as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2019) can assist in providing national and state-level data for comparison with the local population.

The intensity of the problem in terms of comparison of the selected neighborhood with the rest of its policy space: Baltimore City as a whole and the State of Maryland

Types of data needed

The intensity, in this case, means the difference between local and state data, and whether the selected neighborhood’s residents experience the issue of teen pregnancy more frequently than the rest of the city area and state. Thus, the numbers of teenage pregnancies from the neighborhood, city, and state have to be collected. This type of measurement is usually counted as the number of teen pregnancies for every 1,000 young women. However, each data set has to be standardized to ensure that similar age groups (15-19) are used throughout.

Sources of data

The main source of data for Cedonia/Frankford is the BNIA (2020), which shows the latest gathered information about the neighborhood. The same organization has information for the city area and other communities. State-level data can be obtained from the Office of Population Affairs (2019) and the official website of the Government of Maryland (2014), although the latter has somewhat outdated statistics. The CDC (2019) has some national and state-level information about teen pregnancy as well.

Existing approaches to address the problem and service gaps that currently exist in addressing the problem in Cedonia/Frankford

Types of data needed

The problem of teenage pregnancies is not new, and many programs have been designed to lower the rate of teen births. The evaluator has to assess the information about these services to find a new approach to the intervention. For this purpose, the data about existing services include the number of available programs, their characteristics (duration, outreach, participants, strategies), and outcomes. The plans explicitly targeting teenagers living in Cedonia/Frankford are a priority, although a state-wide intervention may also provide valuable data.

Sources of data

The informer can collect the information about programs directly from their representatives to ensure that they correctly explain their target population and goals. However, to find these services, teenagers, parents, healthcare professionals, school administrators, social workers, youth ministers, and local officials should be contacted as well. These stakeholders can also demonstrate whether the services to address the problem in Cedonia/Frankford are lacking if they do not know about any available initiatives.

Sources and Types of Information to Be Pursued to Determine the Characteristics of a Policy and/or Program Intervention to Address the Problem

Types of data needed

To determine what policy or program would be effective to lower the rate of teen pregnancy in Cedonia/Frankford, the evaluator has to understand which services were successful and ineffective previously. Thus, data about existing and past initiatives is vital here. It should incorporate the age of participants and other individual and community characteristics. The strategy of each intervention has to be assessed, establishing activities, messages, objectives, and outcomes.

Sources of data

The researcher should review the existing studies and reports about interventions, synthesizing data in the form of a systematic review, or searching for an existing analysis of such information. Additionally, people who were participants in such programs and advocates for teenage-focused issues can be contacted to provide their informed pinion on possible characteristics for future action. The evaluator should discuss the intervention with stakeholders to increase the potential for finding new ways to address the issue.


Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance. (2020). Teen birth rate per 1,000 females (aged 15-19). Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). About teen pregnancy. Web.

Charlton, B. M., Roberts, A. L., Rosario, M., Katz-Wise, S. L., Calzo, J. P., Spiegelman, D., & Austin, S. B. (2018). Teen pregnancy risk factors among young women of diverse sexual orientations. Pediatrics, 141(4)., e20172278.

Coyle, K., Basen-Engquist, K., Kirby, D., Parcel, G., Banspach, S., Collins, J., Baumler, E., Carvajal, S., & Harrist, R. (2016). Safer choices: Reducing teen pregnancy, HIV, and STDs. Public Health Reports, 166(1_suppl), 82-93.

Government of Maryland. (2014). Births to adolescents. Web.

Office of Population Affairs. (2019). Maryland adolescent reproductive health facts. Web.

Rossi, P. H., Lipsey, M. W., & Henry, G. T. (2018). Evaluation: A systematic approach (8th ed.). Sage publications.

Smith, C., Strohschein, L., & Crosnoe, R. (2018). Family histories and teen pregnancy in the United States and Canada. Journal of Marriage and Family, 80(5), 1244-1258. Web.