27 Apr 2011

Less supervision leading to more teenage pregnancies in American Samoa

8:43 am on 27 April 2011

It's believed a change in traditional parenting as well as outside influences have led to more teenage pregnancies in American Samoa.

Statistics for last year show that 133 babies were born to teenage mothers, ranging from 12 to 19 years - in 2007 there were 95.

The co-chair of the Coalition on Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Reverend Viliamu Leilua, says there's less supervision of young people now as parents work long hours and have other commitments.

"We'd like to put more emphasis on the Samoan way of living where parents have a lot of time with their kids, they have to put the evening curfew in place where the parents and kids come home together they have their evening worship and then they talk about what they did during the day, how they operate the family, so we put emphasis on that."

Reverend Viliamu says there's also been an "Americanisation" on youth culture in American Samoa.