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Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Sep;88(3 Suppl):48S-56S.

Adolescents and the contraceptive pill: the impact of beliefs on intentions and use.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine which beliefs about the contraceptive pill predict adolescent females' intentions to use the pill and their actual pill use, and to examine how intentions toward other birth control methods influence adolescents' intentions to use the pill and their eventual pill use.

METHODS:

Three hundred forty-five adolescents were interviewed about their beliefs regarding the consequences of using the pill and about their intentions to use the pill and other contraceptive methods. Follow-up interviews were conducted 1 year later, during which subjects reported their sexual activity and oral contraceptive use over the course of the year.

RESULTS:

Concerns about health and physical appearance differentiated subjects who intended to use the pill from those who did not, those who reported actually using the pill at all from those who did not, and those who did or did not use the pill consistently. The impact of beliefs differed between sexually active subjects and those who first had sex after the initial interview. Intentions to use withdrawal were negatively related to subjects' use of the pill (beta = -0.19, P < .05), although intentions to use condoms were unrelated to pill use. Intentions toward abortion were unrelated to either intentions to use the pill or eventual pill use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Female adolescents' beliefs about the contraceptive pill predicted their initial intentions to use the pill and their actual pill use over the course of a year. Adolescents may view withdrawal-although apparently not condoms-as an alternative to pill use. Abortion appears to be a backup to pill use rather than a substitute.

PMID:
8752228
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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