Evaluation of web-based resources for pregnant and parenting teens

Jennifer Diane Torres, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Current teen pregnancy and repeat pregnancy rates reveal that there is a pressing need for comprehensive care for pregnant and parenting teens to address their unique needs. The Internet has become a source of various types of information and as a result, several efforts have begun to assess the quality of health information provided on websites. The objective of this study was to assess the functionality and quality of websites containing health information and resources for pregnant and parenting teens. The three most widely used search engines currently: Google, MSN, and Yahoo were searched using three general search terms “teen pregnancy”, “pregnant teen”, and “teen parent”. The first 5 pages of each search were reviewed and categorized to yield 12 websites which met inclusion criteria for content evaluation. The 12 websites were rated using a pre-existing instrument encompassing two domains: functionality and content analysis. Within the functionality domain, this sample highlighted the need to improve accessibility and credibility for the target population. The content analysis revealed that among the topics which are recommended for pregnant and parenting teens, the topics most commonly covered were mental health and primary and preventive health care. The majority of websites neglected sexual health topics including STI’s and family planning. This study provides the first glimpse into health information and resources for pregnant and parenting teens on the Internet. Researchers, health care providers, social workers, health educators, and website sponsors can use these results to maintain and recommend websites which offer easily accessible, accurate, and practical information for pregnant and parenting teens.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Torres, Jennifer Diane, "Evaluation of web-based resources for pregnant and parenting teens" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1467651.