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Pediatrics. 1998 Apr;101(4 Pt 1):620-4.

Does child abuse predict adolescent pregnancy?

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1
Department of Family Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether sexual and nonsexual childhood abuse are risk factors for early adolescent sexual activity and pregnancy. DESIGN; Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Prenatal clinic within an inner-city teaching hospital from June 1990 to August 1991.

POPULATION:

One thousand twenty-six primiparous, African-American women enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of nurse home visitation.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Four measures of child abuse were used: sexual abuse, incidents of physical abuse, any major physical abuse, and emotional abuse. The outcome measures were age of first consensual coitus and age of first pregnancy.

RESULTS:

After adjustments for household income, parental separation, urban residence, age of menarche, and teen smoking, sexual abuse during childhood was associated with younger age at first coitus (7.2 months; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.6 to 11.7 months) and younger age at first pregnancy (9.7 months; 95% CI, 3.0 to 16.3 months). Incidents of physical abuse showed minimal effect on age at first coitus (1.2 days per incident; 95% CI, 0.5 to 1.9 days) and no effect on age of first pregnancy. A history of major physical abuse or emotional abuse showed no effect on age of first coitus or first pregnancy.

CONCLUSION:

Child sexual abuse, but not child physical or emotional abuse, seems to be a risk factor for earlier pregnancy among African-American adolescents.

PMID:
9521944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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