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Adolescence. 1995 Spring;30(117):95-105.

Differences in adolescent self-concept as a function of race, geographic location, and pregnancy.

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Texas Woman's University, Dallas 75235-7299, USA.


This study compares the self-concept scores of pregnant African-American adolescents from urban and rural areas. It was conducted in alternative schools for pregnant adolescents using the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ) as a data collection instrument with 199 girls 13 to 19 years of age. It was hypothesized that the self-concept of pregnant, African-American adolescents would not be influenced by their age or geographic location. Results of the data analysis refuted the null hypotheses. The self-concept scores of both groups were not as high as those of a nonpregnant norm group of adolescents, but the scores of the pregnant adolescents were very similar regardless of age or geographic location.


A comparative study of 141 urban and 58 rural Black adolescents enrolled in schools for pregnant girls investigated the associations between self-concept, age, and geographic location. The Offer Self-Image Questionnaire was selected as the measure of self-concept. Among rural subjects, scores on the Impulse Control, Morals, and Superior Adjustment subscales were below the normed scores for nonpregnant US adolescents and that on the Sexual Attitude subscale was above the norm. In the urban group, scores on the Impulse Control and Morals subscales were below and the Body Image score was above the norm. Pregnant adolescents 13-15 years of age from both urban and rural samples scored below the norm on the Impulse Control and Morals subscales; Sexual Attitude was above the norm in the rural location and Body Image was high in the urban location. Among adolescents 16-19 years old, rural residents had scores below the norm on the Impulse Control, Social Relationships, Morals, Vocational/Educational Goals, Family Relationships, Mastery, Emotional Health, and Superior Adjustment subscales, while urban residents had low scores on the Impulse Control and Morals subscales. Older adolescents in rural areas had no scores exceeding the norm, while their urban counterparts scored above the norm on Body Image. Although there were no significant differences in overall self-concept scores by age or geographic location, the scores of these pregnant Black adolescents deviated substantially from the norm for US teenagers as a whole. Most notable were the consistently low scores on the Morals and Impulse Control subscales. Recommended are studies that examine the relationship between self-concept and sexual decision making in Black adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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