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J Pediatr Psychol. 2009 May;34(4):366-78. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsn098. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Childhood sexual abuse and adolescent pregnancy: a meta-analytic update.

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  • 1Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Behavioral Medicine & Clinical Psychology, 3333 Burnet Avenue, MLC 3015, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.



Recent increases in adolescent pregnancies have sparked a renewed impetus to identify risk factors, such as childhood sexual abuse (CSA), associated with adolescent pregnancy. Given mixed evidence regarding the strength of the relationship between CSA and adolescent pregnancy (Blinn-Pike, Berger, Dixon, Kuschel, & Kaplan, 2002), our objective was to provide an estimate of the effect size of this relationship using updated literature and meta-analytic techniques.


Meta-analyses of 21 studies were conducted using a random effects model of binary outcomes to determine aggregate effect-size estimates controlling for study heterogeneity.


CSA significantly increased the odds of experiencing an adolescent pregnancy by 2.21-fold (95% CI: 1.94-2.51). A supplemental analysis suggested that 4.5 out of 10 pregnant adolescents may have a prior history of CSA.


CSA places females at increased risk for subsequent adolescent pregnancy. Addressing conditions associated with CSA might impact the overall adolescent pregnancy rate.

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