Eye on Education

Girls Who Struggle to Read in Earlier Grades More Likely to Become Teen Mothers

Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee takes effect this year. It basically requires children to pass the third grade reading test in order to be promoted to fourth grade, and requires schools to ensure struggling readers get extra help.

A new, peer reviewed study of more than 12,000 Philadelphia girls found that girls with below-average reading skills in seventh grade were nearly three times more likely to have a child during their teenage years than those with average reading skills. The link between poor reading skills and teen pregnancy was stronger for Hispanic and black girls, the study found.

Poor reading skills in early grades are difficult to overcome and may increase the risk that children will later drop out of school, the researchers noted.
“It is quite possible that adolescent girls who experience a daily sense of rejection in the classroom might feel as though they have little chance of achievement later on in life,” study author Rosemary Frasso said in a news release from the American Public Health Association. “Our findings underscore the role of literacy as its own social risk factor throughout the life course.”

Read more at: www.healthfinder.gov

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