Authors present findings on previously undocumented research

Media Contact:  Rashena Flagg, 713.301.4577             

HOUSTON, TX (October 18, 2011) Unplanned teen pregnancy is a significant social and public health issue in the state of Texas, and nationally.  The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy estimates three in 10 girls get pregnant at least once, by the age of 20, costing taxpayers $9.1 billion dollars annually.  Texas accounts for 12 percent of the nation’s teen births. These findings are presented in the latest issue of the Journal of Applied Research on Children (JARC).

“This Journal sheds light on the problem here in Texas, and nationwide,” said Dr. Robert Sanborn, president and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK. “It’s time we take real policy action to end teen pregnancy. It’s costly to our taxpayers, and it has a devastating effect on our teens.”

The Journal, which is comprised of eight articles, with new research, features seven articles on teen pregnancy. Highlights of this issue include:

A Tale of Two States: What We Learn from California and Texas by Dr. Tortolero and colleagues

The two states have similar racial demographics and are readily comparable.  However, California has seen their teen birth rate drop by 49 percent between 1991 and 2008, while the Texas teen birth rate dropped only 20 percent during the same period.  Research identifies the programs which helped California teens secure more options for their futures by reducing the teen birth rate, and what we can do to help Texas teens achieve more comparable numbers.

Dispelling the Myth: What Parents Really Think about Sex Education in Schools, Dr. Tortolero and colleagues

Parents in Harris County overwhelmingly support sex education that starts in middle school or earlier (80 percent of respondents in a phone survey). Two-thirds of those surveyed said that sex education should include medically accurate information about condoms and contraception.

JARC is an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal, a product of the CHILDREN AT RISK Institute, and published by The Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library.

JARC is uniquely focused on the needs of children through a holistic prism, presenting interdisciplinary research that is linked to practical, evidenced-based policy solutions for children’s issues.


CHILDREN AT RISK is a nonprofit organization leading the way to improving the quality of life for Texas children through research, collaboration, and advocacy. CHILDREN AT RISK educates the community and public officials based on its groundbreaking research which tracks children’s health, safety, education, and economic conditions. By understanding children’s needs and speaking out on their behalf, CHILDREN AT RISK drives change. Visit us at, or on FaceBook and Twitter to learn more.