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J Adolesc Health. 1999 Jan;24(1):10-5.

Fathering pregnancies: marking health-risk behaviors in urban adolescents.

Author information

1
Adolescent Research Program, Center for Health Services and Clinical Research, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To establish self-reported rates and associated correlates of fathering pregnancies in urban teen males, and to explore the possibility of using their pregnancy history as a marker for other health-risk behaviors.

METHODS:

A blinded, self-administered questionnaire was given to the predominantly African-American patients of an inner-city adolescent outpatient clinic. Urine was also collected in a blinded, anonymous fashion, matched to the questionnaires, and tested for five drugs of abuse. Males were classified as having or not having a pregnancy history (PH) according to a questionnaire response item. PH and non-PH participants were compared for eight risk factors using univariate and multivariate methods.

RESULTS:

A total of 24.2% reported a PH. These males were about 14 times more likely to report three or more sex partners in the last year, more than five times as likely to report a sexually transmitted disease history, more than three times as likely to test positive for drugs, and more than 2.5 times as likely to be inconsistent or nonusers of condoms as compared to males without a pregnancy history. An association between violent behavior and PH is unsupported.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pregnancy history can be a valuable marker for other risk factors among inner-city African-American males. With some patients, it may be easier for clinicians to discuss pregnancy history or fatherhood as opposed to drug abuse and other more sensitive risk factors. The topic can then be used as a gateway for discussion of other risk factors.

PIP:

Findings are presented from a study conducted to establish self-reported rates and associated correlates of fathering pregnancies among urban male teenagers, and to explore the possibility of using their pregnancy history (PH) as a marker for other health risk behaviors. A blinded, self-administered questionnaire was given to a convenience sample of 399 young, nonvirgin men aged 12-19 years old, of mean age 16.3, recruited from April 1994 through March 1996 at an inner-city adolescent outpatient clinic. 93.8% of the subjects were African-American and 24.2% reported causing a PH. A urine sample was collected from 73.5% of the study participants and tested for 5 drugs of abuse. 27.7% of these men had traces of drugs in their urine, of whom more than 97% were positive for cannabinoids. Compared to the young men with no pregnancy history, those with a PH were 13.8 times more likely to report 3 or more lifetime sex partners, 5.4 times more likely to report a history of STDs, 3.1 times more likely to test positive for consuming drugs, and more 2.7 times more likely to be inconsistent or nonusers of condoms. No support was found for an association between violent behavior and PH.

PMID:
9890359
DOI:
10.1016/s1054-139x(98)00028-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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