August 17, 2017

Developing and Strengthening New Strategies to Promote Adolescent Sexual Health

This paper, released October 2015, was written by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies.

Through considerable efforts and investments of resources, adolescent pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have decreased significantly over the past two decades. Nonetheless, large disparities persist for many populations of youth. Reducing unintended adolescent pregnancies is considered a “winnable public health battle,” but one that will require innovative thinking and continued persistence.

This paper reviews the recent research literature and innovative programmatic efforts to identify six promising strategies that address the challenge of adolescent pregnancy in new ways. These strategies aim to: (1) understand and address the complexity of adolescent lives; (2) expand the provision of quality sexual health education; (3) engage youth through technology and media; (4) increase access to contraceptives and other sexual health services; (5) create tailored interventions for populations with special needs; and (6) create a supportive policy environment. By building upon lessons learned from past efforts, we can move the field toward the development, strengthening, and promotion of future strategies that enhance the sexual well-being of all adolescents.

The 2015 paper can be downloaded here: “A Call to Action: Developing and Strengthening New Strategies to Promote Adolescent Sexual Health.”