Teenage Pregnancy: The Case for Prevention and Increased Quality of Life in Waco, Texas
Project AdvisorMorrison, Jenny Knowles
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In 2011, Texas was ranked 5th in the nation for total teen births rates amongst females, ages 15-19 (Department of Health and Human Resources 2011). Compared to the national average in the United States of 31.3 per one thousand, in 2011 46.9 per one thousand of Texas teens became pregnant (Appendix A). Teen Pregnancy is a very real issue in Texas, and the Waco community has found itself in the forefront of this fight. In 2007, the Waco Foundation, a community-based foundation that supports the Waco and McLennan County areas through grant making and philanthropy, commissioned a Quality of Life Report to be conducted within their community. Children in McLennan County were discovered to have an overall quality of life score, a measure of physical health status and disease, of 41.67%. Dispersed among the county’s zip codes, this score represented a 57% disparity in scores between the lowest and highest zip codes in the county (Smith, Romero and Alonzo 2009). In searching for causes for this disparity, the Quality of Life Report found a correlation between low early childhood quality of life and teenage parents (Smith, Romero and Alonzo 2009). This led to the community accepting the urgency of the issue and creating the SmartBabies Early Childhood Initiative. It is SmartBabies’ mission to raise the quality of life for all children within McLennan County. Because of this, the SmartBabies Steering Committee, encompassing representatives from health care, business, and early childhood development sectors, has determined the best way to address low quality of life caused by teen pregnancy is to prevent teenage pregnancy altogether by introducing “preventative” programming (SmartBabies Community Update, 2013). The Waco Foundation SmartBabies Early Childhood Initiative commissioned this study to provide an analysis of the relative costs of teen pregnancy prevention as opposed to reactive support in the Waco, Texas community and to support the community’s current and future projected programming activities. The analysis includes a literature review, collection of secondary data, qualitative interviews, and an inclusive presentation of findings to SmartBabies, the Waco Foundation and its stakeholders, showing the positive impacts as a result of Waco proactively reducing teen pregnancy.
ClientWaco Foundation’s Early Childhood Initiative SmartBabies
Bitter, Eliza; Fickes, Sarah; Mijangos, Eliana; Yun, Rujun; Zhang, Bo (2013). Teenage Pregnancy: The Case for Prevention and Increased Quality of Life in Waco, Texas. Available electronically from