Do adolescents want to avoid pregnancy? Attitudes toward pregnancy as predictors of pregnancy.

James Jaccard, Tonya Dodge, Patricia Dittus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: To document the extent to which adolescents feel ambivalent towards getting pregnant and to examine the relationship between pregnancy attitudes and the occurrence of a pregnancy one year later. Demographic correlates of pregnancy attitudes also were examined. METHODS: This was a prospective study using a subsample of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) data base. The sample was 4869 adolescent females in grades 9 through 11 who completed two interviews at a one year interval. Logistic regression analyses were used to predict occurrence of a pregnancy at wave 2 from attitudes toward pregnancy at wave 1. RESULTS: A substantial number of adolescent females (15%-30%) reported some degree of ambivalence toward becoming pregnant relative to their peers. Adolescent females' attitudes towards pregnancy were predictive of the occurrence of a pregnancy one year later. Additionally, demographic correlates of the pregnancy attitude were identified, including differences due to ethnicity, age, relationship status, mother's education level, and whether the adolescent came from a one or a two parent home. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that a significant minority of adolescents have some ambivalence toward pregnancy relative to their peers and that these attitudes are predictive of the occurrence of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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