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J Adolesc Health. 1999 May;24(5):313-20.

Adolescents' pregnancy intentions: relations to life situations and caretaking behaviors prenatally and 2 years postpartum.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 92103-8449, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study explores if and how adolescents' pregnancy intentions relate to life situations and health-related behaviors prenatally and up to 2 years postpartum.

METHODS:

Adolescent girls who reported that they had "wanted a baby" (n = 75) as their reason for pregnancy were compared with those who reported that the pregnancy "just happened" (n = 79) at four separate time periods: prenatally, at 6 and 24 months postpartum, and at 18 months postpartum for teens who became pregnant again subsequent to the study pregnancy.

RESULTS:

Those who stated that they wanted a baby were more likely to be Hispanic, married, and out of school before becoming pregnant. They were less likely to receive welfare as their primary means of support and to have run away from home in the past than teens who stated that their pregnancy just happened. Self-reported reason for pregnancy was unrelated to repeat pregnancy by 18 months postpartum, but those who had wanted the study baby were less likely to undergo elective termination of a subsequent pregnancy and less likely to become pregnant by a different partner. The groups diverged at 24 months postpartum when those who wanted a baby were more likely to be married to the father of the baby, be financially supported by him, receive child care assistance from him, and have attempted or succeeded at breastfeeding the study child.

CONCLUSION:

Self-reported reason for pregnancy reveals many important characteristics of pregnant adolescents both at the time of presentation and up to 2 years postpartum. Young women in this study who reported intentional pregnancy seem to fare better with regard to their financial status and their relationship with the father of the baby.

PMID:
10331837
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3864670
Free PMC Article
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