Registration with a social agency, required attendance of prenatal care, a school lunch, supplemental milk, counseling, nutritional education, health education, group discussion, and selfgovernment are elements of a public school program for teen-age mothers.

To study the health impact of this program, we located the birth certificates of children born to mothers who were 16 years of age and under and who attended the program. We matched these certificates with certificates of children of the same race and sex born to mothers of the same age living in similar socioeconomic census tracts who did not attend the school but who gave birth during the same period of time.

This gave us a study and control group totaling 448 births to mothers 14, 15, and 16 years old. We defined low birth weight as under 2,501 gm and found 23.7% of the control group and 11.6% of the study group to be low birth weight infants. We defined gestation periods less than 37 weeks as premature and found 34.4% of the control group and 21.4% of the study group to be born prematurely. Both of these differences were statistically significant at the level of p smaller than .01. The slightly diminished frequency of prenatal care in the control group was not significantly associated with the differences in birth weight or gestational age. One infant died in the study group and eight infants died in the control group.

The differences between the study group and the control group were most pronounced among the 14-year-old mothers.

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