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Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1980 Jul;50(3):432-445. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.1980.tb03303.x.

Social and psychological correlates of pregnancy resolution among adolescent women: a review.

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Monson State Hospital.


A review of the recent literature on pregnancy resolution among unmarried adolescent women suggests that those who seek and go through with an abortion do not comprise a "special" population, but are similar to their age mates in many of their social and psychological characteristics. Previous research does suggest, however, that teenage abortion patients differ from their term counterparts on a number of significant variables.


The sociodemographic profile of the unmarried adolescent abortion patient appears to be somewhat distinctive from that of her counterpart who carries her pregnancy to term. She is slightly older, of higher social class, better educated, more financially independent, and more likely to be white. These characteristics suggest that the circumstances of the adolescent abortion patient are more favorable than those of her term counterpart, for whom pregnancy inevitably results in social and economic hardships. Some of the psychological correlates of pregnancy are intentions, attitudes, and beliefs, as well as various personality characteristics. In general, reports on adolescent fertility have emphasized the social and economic problems of women who carry their pregnancies to term. Some studies stress the psychological effects of almost certain disruption of schooling and other 'life schedule' events. The social and psychological costs of unmarried adolescent childbearing appear to be great and may effect the mother's psychological well-being, limit her prospects for the future, and restrict life chances of her offspring.

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