Document Detail

Association of conventional goals and perceptions of pregnancy with female teenagers' pregnancy avoidance behavior and attitudes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18577139     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
CONTEXT: Fostering conventional goals is a key component of pregnancy prevention interventions for teenagers. However, research has not shown whether having goals independently influences sexual behavior, or whether the perception that pregnancy represents an impediment to achieving goals mediates any association. METHODS: In 1999-2001, a racially mixed group of 351 sexually experienced female teenagers who were inadequate contraceptive users completed surveys about goals, the anticipated impact of childbearing on these goals, and protective behaviors and attitudes. Chi-square, regression and two-by-two table analyses assessed associations between goals and perceptions of early childbearing and pregnancy avoidance measures. RESULTS: Three-fourths of respondents had educational or vocational goals. Eight in 10 of these teenagers perceived their goals to be achievable, but fewer than half thought pregnancy would be an impediment to achieving these goals. Teenagers who had goals were more likely than others to have used a contraceptive at last intercourse (odds ratio, 1.9), but controlling for the perception of pregnancy as an impediment eliminated this association. In contrast, considering pregnancy an impediment was associated with an increased likelihood of supporting each pregnancy avoidance measure (2.1-9.6), and of intending to avoid pregnancy and to have an abortion if pregnant, regardless of whether teenagers had goals (8.3-13.8). CONCLUSIONS: Conventional goals appear to motivate teenagers to avoid getting pregnant only if they believe pregnancy will be an impediment. Thus, it may be less important to encourage young women to formulate goals than to ensure that they consider adolescent childbearing a threat to their plans.
Sara Jumping-Eagle; Jeanelle Sheeder; Lisa S Kelly; Catherine Stevens-Simon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health     Volume:  40     ISSN:  1538-6341     ISO Abbreviation:  Perspect Sex Reprod Health     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-06-25     Completed Date:  2008-09-30     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101140654     Medline TA:  Perspect Sex Reprod Health     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  74-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pediatrics, Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
Adolescent Health Services / organization & administration
Adolescent Psychology
Contraception Behavior / ethnology*
Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
Needs Assessment / organization & administration
Pregnancy in Adolescence / ethnology*,  psychology
Sexual Behavior / ethnology
Social Environment
Social Perception
Southwestern United States / epidemiology

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