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Before teen pregnancy: Contrasting the social capital and empowerment theories

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  1. Introduction
  2. Comparing and contrasting the theories
    1. History, supporters and stages
    2. Strengths and weaknesses
  3. The social condition: Teenage pregnancy
    1. Briefing of the social issue
    2. How do these theories differentially inform our understanding of the social condition?
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

This paper will analyze two human behavior theories. Within this analysis, the discussion will review the history of these theories, their supporters, the stages of acceptance of the theories, and the strengths verses the weaknesses of each theory. Next, the paper will review the social problem of prevention of non-marital teenage pregnancy and discuss how these theories differentially inform the social issue of preventing teenage pregnancy.

The theoretical discussion of this paper will focus on social capital theory and empowerment theory. In brief, social capital theory is based on the democratic power of a group according to the availability and exchange of resources within that group (e.g. Besser et al., 2008; Coleman, 1994). In addition to the presence and exchange of resources, trust is a major construct in some definitions of this theory.

[...] In assessing this social issue, empowerment theory and social capital theory are useful in framing how various communities respond to teen pregnancy prevention. The reader of this paper is surely aware of various contraceptives, with the most effective being abstinence. However, concern arises about how this knowledge is shared with teenagers. In a general social capitalist model, the community values the collective good, and the individual is expected to maximize their individual resources for themselves and for the community. Therefore, in light of teenage pregnancy, this condition might be avoided according to the social capital because parenting a child is not seen as the maximizing of a teenager's resources or potential. [...]

[...] The role of community and individuals in the formation of social capital. Human Ecology 709-721. Gordon, B.N., Schroeder, C.S., and Abrams, J.M. (1990). Age and social- class differences in children's knowledge of sexuality. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 33-43. Gorman, M. (2007, June). Step up to the plate: Providing teens with controversial materials is easier than you think. School Library Journal Gutierrez, L. M. (1995). Understanding the empowerment process: Does consciousness make a difference? Social Work Research 229-237. Harper, C.C., Weiss, D.C., Speidel, J.J., and Raine-Bennett, T. [...]

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