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Teenagers are more likely than ever before to engage in risky behaviors that have lifelong consequences, a report from the Children's Defense Fund concludes.

The report, which relied on data collected by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of the Census, the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as other agencies, found that unwanted teenage pregnancies pose the greatest threat to a young adult's potential well-being. Each year about half a million babies are born to teenage mothers, two-thirds of whom are unmarried, the report said.

Teenagers also face increased threats from violence, drugs, poor schools, and poverty, the report says.

"As the proportion of young people in your population drops, we need every young adult to perform at top capacity," said Marion Wright Edelman, president of the C.D.F., a Washington-based advocacy group.

Copies of the report, The Adolescent and Young Adult Fact Book, are available for $13.95 each, including postage, from the C.D.F., 122 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. .

Vol. 11, Issue 08, Page 2

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