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Jeannette Manger


Objective: Our objective is to determine the impact of teen pregnancy, and its associated factors (e.g., child poverty, single-parent households, disconnected youth) on high school graduation rates in Ohio. Introduction: Failure to complete high school often results due to a process known as educational disengagement. This process has been studied to include such factors like teenage pregnancy, which is often linked to increased absences and decreased participation in class. While studies indicate that programs should emphasize attendance and engagement, rather than teenage pregnancy prevention, we also examine factors that are commonly associated with teenage pregnancy. Such variables that contribute to this particular outcome include, but not limited to, insurance, poverty, single-parent households, and disconnected youth. Thus, we aim to analyze the impact of teenage pregnancy on high school graduation rates in Ohio and how associated factors can affect this process of educational disengagement.

Methods: County-level data from the states of Ohio, New York, California, and Texas in the years of 2016 and 2021 were used from the County Health Rankings (CHR) website. Statistical analysis utilized Pearson correlations, ANOVA tests, paired t-tests, and regression analyses.

Results: The data suggests a small, but significant, inverse relationship (r = -0.31, p < 0.001), indicating that as teen birth rate increases, the high school rate decreases in Ohio in 2021. The teen birth rates in Ohio decreased from 36.12% in 2016 to 24.96% in 2021 (t = 2.16, p < 0.001). High school graduation rates in Ohio also decreased from 88.91% in 2016 to 86.53% in 2021 (t= 0.19, p = 0.089). Linear regression analysis which indicated that the best fitting model was significant (F2,87 = 56.31, p < 0.001), accounting for 85.32% of the variance in high school graduation rates, with percentage of children in poverty contributing the most (B = 401.23, t = 4.78, p < 0.001) impacting high school graduation rates the most.

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