Correlates of unplanned and unwanted pregnancy among African-American female teens

Richard A. Crosby, Ralph J. DiClemente, Gina M. Wingood, Eve Rose, Delia Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence suggests that unplanned/unwanted pregnancy may be an important antecedent of negative birth outcomes, such as low birth weight. This study identified correlates of perceiving a current pregnancy as both unplanned and unwanted among unmarried African-American adolescents aged 14-20 years. Methods: One hundred seventy pregnant adolescents were recruited during their first prenatal visit. Adolescents completed a face-to-face interview administered in private examination rooms. Adolescents also completed an in-depth self-administered survey. Measures were selected based on two potential influences: (1) relationships with boyfriends and (2) parent/family involvement. Age and parity were also assessed. Contingency table analyses were used to identify significant bivariate associations. Correlates achieving bivariate significance were entered into a forward stepwise logistic regression model. Results: Pregnancy was reported as unplanned and unwanted by 51.2% of the study population. In a multivariate analysis, adolescents indicating lower levels of parental involvement were about twice as likely (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-3.9, p<0.03) to report that their pregnancy was unplanned and unwanted. Adolescents who already had a child (AOR=2.3; 95% CI, 1.3-5.7, p<0.009) and those younger than 18 years old (AOR=2.3; 95% CI, 1.1-4.5, p<0.02) were more than twice as likely to report that their pregnancy was unplanned and unwanted. A variable assessing whether each adolescent's current boyfriend conceived the pregnancy approached significance (AOR=2.33; 95% CI, 0.99-5.46, p=0.052). Conclusions: Findings provide initial evidence for specifically targeting intensified prenatal care programs to teens perceiving their pregnancy as unplanned and unwanted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-258
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS, the National Institute of Mental Health (1R01 MH54412), and the Office of AIDS Research.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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