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Keywords:

  • adolescent pregnancy;
  • child-rearing;
  • high risk pregnancy;
  • teen parents

Child-rearing among very young adolescents (10–14 years) in America has increased 10% between 1981 and 1991. Australian statistics indicate a similar increase. What are the consequences? The cost of adolescent child-bearing can be felt across three generations. The parents of the adolescent, the child of the adolescent and the adolescent pay heavily emotionally, socio-economically, physically and developmentally. More positive outcomes can be achieved if an ecological approach is taken by service providers, or if teenagers are exposed to positive parenting techniques such as breast-feeding. Despite the type of service provided, the teenager must feel comfortable and welcome if they are to take full advantage of it. The South Australian Government has opened to door to more appropriate services with the development of the youth health policy; now the challenge is to make a difference.