Much has been written about the epidemiology and the consequences of pregnancy in teenagers. The 1970s saw a major federal initiative to develop and fund services for pregnant teenagers and teenaged parents. Smith and Mumford perceived a need for a clearer understanding of the underlying causes of early childbearing and for a critical evaluation of existing services. They recruited a multidisciplinary panel of contributors for a textbook appealing to a broad spectrum of health professionals.
The chapters vary considerably in sophistication and scope, which the editors acknowledge. There is extensive review of the existing literature and, disappointingly, one more restatement of the statistics published by the Guttmacher Institute in 1976. Chapters are well referenced, with numerous subheadings, permitting easy access to specific information.
Several chapters deserve comment. Joan Lipsitz concisely reviews normal adolescent psychosexual development and its relationship to pregnancy. Administrative issues, psychiatric views of pregnancy, and abortion are skimmed