Pregnancy and Parenting among Runaway and Homeless Young Women

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Graduate School of Social Work


Homeless youth, Pregnancy prevention, Reproductive health, Sexual health, Maternal-child health outcomes


Homeless youth face numerous challenging life circumstances, both prior to leaving home and while homeless. Examples of such difficult experiences include exceptionally high rates of pregnancy and early parenthood, particularly in comparison to their housed peers. This chapter reviews the complexity of causes, risk factors, and adverse outcomes associated with homeless youth pregnancy and early parenthood. Homeless youth pregnancy and early parenthood are notably under-researched topics, and as homeless youth have unique and complex life experiences, this chapter also highlights opportunities for further advancing culturally responsive prevention and intervention services in efforts to more effectively decrease pregnancies and improve sexual, reproductive, maternal-child health, and parenting outcomes among this highly vulnerable population.

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