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Nurs Res. 1995 Nov-Dec;44(6):340-6.

Linkages between sexual risk taking, substance use, and AIDS knowledge among pregnant adolescents and young mothers.

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  • 1UCLA School of Nursing, USA.


This survey examined the relationships of sexual risk taking to substance use and AIDS knowledge in pregnant adolescents (n = 58) and nonpregnant young mothers (n = 93). Subjects were from predominantly minority backgrounds, were single, and ranged in age from 12 to 20 years (M = 16.64). A number of high-risk behaviors were reported, including substance use during pregnancy and early parenthood, unprotected sexual relations, and multiple (lifetime) sex partners. Current pregnancy status, history of marijuana use, and ethnicity were strong predictors of having had multiple sex partners. Odds ratios suggested that Black adolescents were many times more likely than Whites to have had multiple sex partners. Pregnant adolescents were less likely than young mothers (nonpregnant) to have had multiple sex partners but more likely to have unprotected sex (i.e., without use of a condom). Conversely, young mothers were more likely to have multiple sex partners and less likely to have unprotected sex than were pregnant adolescents. Those with a history of marijuana use were more likely to have had multiple sex partners than were adolescents who had never used this drug. AIDS knowledge was not a significant predictor of high-risk sexual behavior.

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