Health Characteristics and Birth Outcomes for “Starting Out Right,” a Teen Pregnancy Program

Allison D. Root, Laura A. Pedersen, Christina A. Cutshaw, Leslie V. Farland, Douglas L. Taren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate differences in health characteristics and birth outcomes for participants of a prenatal education and support program for pregnant teens, “Starting Out Right” (SOR) compared to nonparticipant pregnant teens in Pima, Maricopa, and Gila counties in Arizona to gauge benefits of program participation. Description: The SOR program is a community education and support program for pregnant teens based on a structured curriculum. All pregnant teens living in the service area are eligible to participate. Assessment: Vital statistics birth data from 2014 to 2019 were obtained from three counties in Arizona that identified SOR and non-SOR program participants. Logistic regression was used to calculate multivariable -adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for specific health characteristics (smoking, hypertensive disorders, overweight and obesity, gestational diabetes, sexually transmitted infections) and birth outcomes (C-section, preterm birth, NICU admission, birthweight, and breastfeeding) for SOR participants compared with nonparticipants. Variables in the adjusted models included age, BMI, smoking, gestational diabetes, race, ethnicity, county, WIC participation, insurance type, plurality, and month and year prenatal care began. Conclusion: These results suggest that participation in SOR was associated (p ≤ 0.06) with a reduced odds for low birthweight [aOR 0.7(95% CI 0.5,1.0)] and increased odds (p ≤ 0.05) of breastfeeding [aOR 1.3(95% CI 1.0,1.7)] compared to nonparticipants. These results provide evidence that the education components in the SOR program support improved pregnancy and breastfeeding outcomes for pregnant teens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1689-1696
Number of pages8
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Breastfeeding
  • Low birthweight
  • Pregnancy outcomes
  • Program evaluation
  • Teen pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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