Correlates of Adolescent Females' Worry About Undesired Pregnancy: The Importance of Partner Desire for Pregnancy

Richard A. Crosby, Ralph J. Diclemente, Gina M. Wingood, Catlainn Sionean, Brenda K. Cobb, Kathy Harrington, Suzy Davies, Edward W. Hook, M. Kim Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine correlates of worry about pregnancy among a high-risk sample of low-income African-American adolescent females. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that perceived male partner desire for pregnancy and level of sexual communication would be independently associated with adolescent females' worry about becoming pregnant. Design: A survey of sexually active African-American adolescent females, 14-18 years of age. Setting: Recruitment was conducted in low-income neighborhoods of Birmingham, Alabama, characterized by high rates of unemployment, substance abuse, violence, and teen pregnancy. Participants: Adolescents (N = 522) completed a survey and a face-to-face interview, and provided a urine specimen for pregnancy testing. Main Outcome Measure: Nonpregnant adolescents reporting steady relationships with a male sex partner (over the past 6 months) and indicating no immediate desire to become pregnant were included in the analysis (n = 196). Two questionnaire items assessed level of worry about becoming pregnant. Results: Compared to adolescent females reporting their partner did not desire pregnancy, those perceiving their partner desired pregnancy were nearly three times more likely to experience high worry about becoming pregnant (AOR = 2.85; P = .009). Engaging in sex unprotected by a condom was an equally important correlate of high worry (AOR = 2.84; P = .013). Level of communication between partners about pregnancy prevention was not significant. Conclusions: Adolescent females may experience high worry about becoming pregnant due to desires of their male partner as well as their recent sexual risk behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2001


  • Adolescent sexuality
  • African-American Adolescents
  • Pregnancy, adolescents
  • Pregnancy, undesired
  • Sexual risk behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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