Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,728,043 articles and books


Unmarried, pregnant adolescents face a variety of difficult decisions. They must decide whether to give birth or to have an abortion, and whether to raise a child they bear or to place the baby for adoption. Simultaneously, they must make the same critical decisions about school, work and relationships as other teenagers must make. In designing interventions to help young women make the transition from adolescence adolescence, time of life from onset of puberty to full adulthood. The exact period of adolescence, which varies from person to person, falls approximately between the ages 12 and 20 and encompasses both physiological and psychological changes.  to adulthood without having an unintended birth, it is important to understand the life circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
     2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or
, motivations and events that lead some unmarried teenagers to become pregnant and the processes involved in the decision to carry a nonmarital teenage pregnancy teenage pregnancy Adolescent pregnancy, teen pregnancy Social medicine Pregnancy by a ♀, age 13 to 19; TP is usually understood to occur in a ♀ who has not completed her core education–secondary school, has few or no marketable skills, is  to term.

Some researchers have investigated factors influencing the pregnancy options considered by young women in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  who choose abortion; (1) others have explored pregnancy decision-making by comparing the characteristics of young women who opt for abortion, birth or adoption. (2) But rarely has pregnancy decision making been investigated by examining the influences bearing on young women who choose to give birth. What events and communication patterns lead pregnant teenagers to this decision? Who helps them the most in making their decision, and what options do the women, their partners and their parents consider? And how does decision-making differ according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 young women's pregnancy intentions and background characteristics?

This study, conducted in four counties in California The U.S. state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. Counties are responsible for all elections, property-tax collection, maintenance of public records such as deeds, and local-level courts within their borders, as well as providing law enforcement (through the county , was designed to address these issues for a sample of unmarried pregnant 15-18-year-olds who had decided to give birth. We explore whether their pregnancies had been planned, and we compare the characteristics and motivations of adolescents who had intended their pregnancies with those of young women who had not intended to become pregnant or had not cared whether they became pregnant. We hypothesize hy·poth·e·size  
v. hy·poth·e·sized, hy·poth·e·siz·ing, hy·poth·e·siz·es
To assert as a hypothesis.

To form a hypothesis.
 that characteristics that distinguish childbearing teenagers from others--such as familial familial /fa·mil·i·al/ (fah-mil´e-il) occurring in more members of a family than would be expected by chance.

 disadvantage, parental absence, low aspirations aspirations nplaspiraciones fpl (= ambition); ambición f

aspirations npl (= hopes, ambition) → aspirations fpl 
, abuse and certain partner characteristics--will also distinguish young childbearing women who had intended to become pregnant from those who had not. In addition, we look at how race, ethnicity ethnicity Vox populi Racial status–ie, African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic  and nativity Nativity
See also Christmas.

Neglectfulness (See CARELESSNESS.)

Nervousness (See INSECURITY.)


birthplace of Jesus. [N.T.
 are associated with adolescents' pregnancy intentions.

Finally, we investigate the factors that were most important in the young women's decision to carry their pregnancy to term. This decision may have been affected by a variety of factors: the prior intentions of the young woman and her partner regarding becoming pregnant and having a child, the woman's relationship with her partner, her age, the structure of her family, and her goals and expectations for the future. (3) Other possible factors are familial or social supports that affect a young woman's ability to bear and raise a child; the accessibility of abortion services; and the acceptability of abortion to the young woman, her family and her peers.

We anticipate that the findings from these analyses will be useful for educators, program planners and others involved in designing interventions to help young women avoid unintended pregnancy and childbearing and in directing ongoing medical and educational services toward young people who might be at risk for unintended pregnancy.


Public concern over teenage pregnancy and its resolution has triggered both political debate and academic inquiry. Data for the 1990s showing declines in teenage pregnancy and childbearing both nationally and in California California (kăl'ĭfôr`nyə), most populous state in the United States, located in the Far West; bordered by Oregon (N), Nevada and, across the Colorado River, Arizona (E), Mexico (S), and the Pacific Ocean (W).  (4) raise further questions about the determinants of teenage childbearing and the factors that have contributed to the decline.

Childbearing Trends

During the early 1980s, teenage birthrates in California paralleled the national average (Figure 1, page 6). After 1985, as teenage birthrates rose across the nation, California's rate rose faster and higher than the national average, increasing by more than one-third and peaking at 73 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 1991. Between 1992 and 1997, teenage birthrates dropped in both California and the United States; California's rate declined to 57 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 1997.

Much of the rise in California's teenage birthrates in the late 1980s can be attributed to significantly rising birthrates among young Hispanic Hispanic Multiculture A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race Social medicine Any of 17 major Latino subcultures, concentrated in California, Texas, Chicago, Miam, NY, and elsewhere  and black women, as well as to the growing proportion of the state's teenagers who were of Hispanic origin (23% in 1980 vs. 34% in 1990 (5)). The teenage birthrate birth·rate or birth rate
The ratio of total live births to total population in a specified community or area over a specified period of time, often expressed as the number of live births per 1,000 of the population per year.
 rose from 91 births per 1,000 Hispanic women 15-19 in 1980 to a high of 123 per 1,000 in 1993; among black women, the rate rose from 79 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 in 1980 to a high of 108 per 1,000 in 1990. Subsequent declines in California's teenage birthrates are attributable to large declines in the rates for Hispanic and black women (to 95 and 72 per 1,000, respectively, in 1997), as well as to declines in the rates for white women (from a high of 42 in 1990 to 29 in 1997). Birthrates among California's Asian teenagers rose and declined very gradually throughout the 1980s and 1990s, generally remaining close to 30 births per 1,000 women aged 15-19.

Determinants of Teenage Childbearing

Factors associated with teenage pregnancy and its resolution have been summarized in several reviews. The research clearly shows that many antecedents of teenage childbearing are related to some form of social disadvantage (e.g., poverty, low education, family and residential instability instability /in·sta·bil·i·ty/ (-stah-bil´i-te) lack of steadiness or stability.

detrusor instability
, unemployment and limited career opportunities, membership in a minority group, and sexual or physical abuse). (6)

Less clear is an understanding of the mechanisms through which these factors result in teenage child-bearing. One hypothesis is that social disadvantage and its behavioral behavioral

pertaining to behavior.

behavioral disorders
see vice.

behavioral seizure
see psychomotor seizure.
 sequelae sequelae Clinical medicine The consequences of a particular condition or therapeutic intervention  (early sexual initiation, less-effective contraceptive contraceptive /con·tra·cep·tive/ (-sep´tiv)
1. diminishing the likelihood of or preventing conception.

2. an agent that so acts.
 use and less reliance on abortion to end unplanned pregnancies) make it difficult for youth to avoid the risks and negative consequences of becoming pregnant and bearing a child. (7) An alternative hypothesis alternative hypothesis Epidemiology A hypothesis to be adopted if a null hypothesis proves implausible, where exposure is linked to disease. See Hypothesis testing. Cf Null hypothesis.  is that social disadvantage contributes to attitudes or norms that favor nonmarital teenage childbearing as a rational adaptive strategy. (8)

Although most births to U.S. teenagers are unintended, a substantial minority of conceptions among teenagers are planned. In 1994, an estimated 22% of pregnancies and 44% of births among women aged 15-19 were intended at the time of conception. (9) Furthermore, studies of the psychological determinants of teenage pregnancy and childbearing indicate that some adolescents may have even more ambivalence ambivalence (ămbĭv`ələns), coexistence of two opposing drives, desires, feelings, or emotions toward the same person, object, or goal. The ambivalent person may be unaware of either of the opposing wishes.  (10) or preconscious preconscious /pre·con·scious/ (-kon´shus) the part of the mind not present in consciousness, but readily recalled into it.

See foreconscious.
 motivation (11) toward childbearing than is detected by national surveys using a single retrospective LAW, RETROSPECTIVE. A retrospective law is one that is to take effect, in point of time, before it was passed.
     2. Whenever a law of this kind impairs the obligation of contracts, it is void. 3 Dall. 391.
 question on women's pregnancy intention.

Numerous studies have shown that compared with sexually active young women who avoid pregnancy or who become pregnant and choose abortion, those who become pregnant and choose to bear a child are more likely to come from economically disadvantaged This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.

Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007.
 families, live with only one or neither biological parent, and have been sexually abused or raped. Typically, they also have lower educational and career aspirations and older partners. (12)

To better understand how such characteristics contribute to teenage childbearing, it is important to assess which ones are more common among young women who become pregnant intentionally in·ten·tion·al  
1. Done deliberately; intended: an intentional slight. See Synonyms at voluntary.

2. Having to do with intention.
 and which are more common among those who become pregnant accidentally. In addition, it is important to understand the factors involved when unmarried teenagers decide to carry a pregnancy to term.

Finally, while the accessibility of abortion services may affect pregnancy resolution decisions in some areas of the country, it is unlikely to be an important factor among the young women in this study. Abortion services are generally available in the four study counties, (13) and California is one of 14 states to provide public funding Public funding is money given from tax revenue or other governmental sources to an individual, organization, or entity. See also
  • Public funding of sports venues
  • Research funding
  • Funding body
 for abortion through Medicaid Medicaid, national health insurance program in the United States for low-income persons; established in 1965 with passage of the Social Security Amendments and now run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  (MediCal). (4) However, when access to services is not a major problem, many women may view abortion as an unacceptable option for a variety of reasons: moral or religious beliefs, fear of physical or emotional consequences, or cultural and familial attitudes regarding women's roles and the importance of childbearing.

In fact, use of abortion to resolve unintended adolescent ad·o·les·cent
Of, relating to, or undergoing adolescence.

A young person who has undergone puberty but who has not reached full maturity; a teenager.
 pregnancies has declined in recent years. Nationwide, 45% of such pregnancies among women 15-19 ended in abortion in 1994, compared with 55% in 1981. (15) In California, the proportion of all (not just unintended) adolescent pregnancies ending in abortion fell from 52% in 1985 (16) to 49% in 1988 (17) and to 40% in 1992. (18)


The Sample

Pregnant women aged 15-18 who had no children, had been unmarried at conception and planned to bear and raise their baby were recruited from 30 prenatal care prenatal care,
n the health care provided the mother and fetus before childbirth.
 providers in Alameda Alameda (ăləmē`də, –mā`də), city (1990 pop. 76,459), Alameda co., W central Calif., on an island just off the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay; settled 1850, inc. as a city 1884. , Monterey Monterey (mŏntərā`), city (1990 pop. 31,954), Monterey co., W Calif., a port on Monterey Bay; founded 1770, inc. 1850. It is a popular resort, the home of many artists and writers, and one of California's oldest cities. , Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Cruz   , Juana Inés de la 1648?-1695.

Mexican nun and poet noted for her love lyrics, courtly tributes, satires, and plays as well as theological writings on the role of women in the Roman Catholic church.
 counties. (*) These counties were chosen because they make up a contiguous Adjacent or touching. Contrast with fragmentation. See contiguous file.  area that includes inner-city inner city
The usually older, central part of a city, especially when characterized by crowded neighborhoods in which low-income, often minority groups predominate.
, urban and rural populations with representation from the different racial and ethnic groups found in the state.

The principal investigator Noun 1. principal investigator - the scientist in charge of an experiment or research project

scientist - a person with advanced knowledge of one or more sciences
 or fieldwork field·work  
1. A temporary military fortification erected in the field.

2. Work done or firsthand observations made in the field as opposed to that done or observed in a controlled environment.

 managers briefed staff at each participating site about the study and provided them with enrollment forms and eligibility criteria. Staff were requested to identify all potentially eligible young women seeking prenatal care from July July: see month.  1996 to December December: see month.  1996, and were responsible for giving these women a brief description of the study and inviting them to participate. The study protocols, recruitment forms and survey instrument were approved for use by The Alan Guttmacher Alan Frank Guttmacher (1898-1974) was an American physician.

He served as president of Planned Parenthood and vice-president of the American Eugenics Society, founded the Association for the Study of Abortion in 1964, was a member of the Association for Voluntary
 Institute's institutional review board in July 1996.

A total of 260 young women were identified as potential participants. Trained female fieldwork managers attempted to contact each woman by telephone to assess her eligibility and schedule the interview. Forty-four women were contacted and found to be ineligible in·el·i·gi·ble  
1. Disqualified by law, rule, or provision: ineligible to run for office; ineligible for health benefits.

. (+) Of the remainder, 13 women were never contacted (because their phone number was incorrect, they did not provide a phone number or they were never available at the phone number provided); 12 were eligible but refused to be interviewed or never made it to the interview, even after rescheduling multiple times; (++) and four gave birth before the scheduled interview could be conducted. Fifty-three respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy.  did not keep their scheduled interview times; all but 10 rescheduled and completed interviews. Altogether, contacting, scheduling, confirming and rescheduling interviews involved more than 1,000 telephone calls.

In all, 187 young women in four counties completed the interview--78 in Alameda; 26 in Monterey; 53 in Santa Clara; and 30 in Santa Cruz. Fieldwork managers and interviewers conducted the interview either at the recruitment site, usually a clinic (134), or at the young woman's home (53), depending upon the availability of space at the site and on the young woman's preference. All interviews were conducted privately, away from other site activities or other household members.

The interviewers used a structured questionnaire with many open-ended questions; interviews took 40-105 minutes (averaging 59 minutes apiece a·piece  
To or for each one; each: There is enough bread for everyone to have two slices apiece.

[Middle English a pece : a, a; see a
). All interviews were audiotaped for later review, particularly of the qualitative information collected. To ensure that the young women had already made the decisions we were asking about and would not be influenced by any interaction occurring during the interview, we completed interviews only with respondents who were at least three months pregnant. Respondents were compensated with $25 at the completion of the interview.

Participants were almost equally divided between 15-16-year-olds (48%) and 17-18-year-olds (52%). Thirty-six percent were Hispanic women born in the United States, 29% were Hispanic adolescents born elsewhere (primarily Mexico), 25% were black women, 7% were non-Hispanic white teenagers and 4% were Asian. Eighty-three were native Spanish Spanish, river, c.150 mi (240 km) long, issuing from Spanish Lake, S Ont., Canada, NW of Sudbury, and flowing generally S through Biskotasi and Agnew lakes to Lake Huron opposite Manitoulin island. There are several hydroelectric stations on the river.  speakers, and 47 opted to have their interviews conducted in Spanish.

We had anticipated a larger number of non-Hispanic white respondents and attribute the low number to two factors. First, non-Hispanic white teenagers in California have a considerably lower birthrate (32 births per 1,000 in 1996) than their black or Hispanic peers (77 and 104 per 1,000, respectively). (19) Second, we suspect that non-Hispanic white teenagers who decide to give birth are more likely to seek prenatal care from private providers or from providers who were not on the lists obtained from county health departments or who refused to participate. (Many participating Sites were in communities with high concentrations of Hispanic or black residents. In addition, several private providers known to have large numbers of teenage clients and to accept Medi-Cal, and suspected to serve a more mixed clientele, refused to participate.)

Statistical Weights

We constructed weights that adjust the distribution of young women in the sample to approximate the distribution of young women giving birth in California, according to race or ethnicity (U.S.-born Hispanic, foreign-born Hispanic, black, white and Asian) and age (15-16 and 17-18). These adjustments allow us to generalize generalize /gen·er·al·ize/ (-iz)
1. to spread throughout the body, as when local disease becomes systemic.

2. to form a general principle; to reason inductively.
 the results more broadly and ensure that the high proportion of younger respondents does not bias the findings and give undue weight to the experiences of younger teenagers.

The proportion of study participants who were native- or foreign-born Hispanics was similar to the proportion of births to 15-18-year-olds statewide and in the four study counties that were classified as native or foreign-born Hispanic (Table 1). White teenagers were underrepresented un·der·rep·re·sent·ed  
Insufficiently or inadequately represented: the underrepresented minority groups, ignored by the government. 
 among study participants, while black teenagers were overrepresented o·ver·rep·re·sent·ed  
Represented in excessive or disproportionately large numbers: "Some groups, and most notably some races, may be overrepresented and others may be underrepresented" 

The age distribution of the study sample differs strikingly from those illustrated in the state and county data. Whereas 29% of births to 15-18-year-olds in the state and the four counties are to women aged 15-16, 48% of pregnant women were this age at the interview date. This variation may be due partly to two factors: Some study participants who were 16 years old at interview may be 17 when they deliver; and younger teenagers may rely mainly on clinics for prenatal care, whereas older teenagers may be more likely to seek services from private doctors.


One of the principal variables of interest is whether the young woman had intended to conceive conceive /con·ceive/ (kon-sev´)
1. to become pregnant.

2. take in, grasp, or form in the mind.

1. To become pregnant.

. Respondents were asked "When you became pregnant, would you say you wanted to get pregnant at that time, you didn't want to get pregnant, or you didn't care one way or the other?" This was followed by an open-ended question A closed-ended question is a form of question, which normally can be answered with a simple "yes/no" dichotomous question, a specific simple piece of information, or a selection from multiple choices (multiple-choice question), if one excludes such non-answer responses as dodging a  asking the young woman why her intention had been as she described it. On the basis of their responses to these two questions, respondents were classified into three groups--those who had intended to become pregnant, those who had not intended the pregnancy and those who had not cared one way or the other.

The analyses also included demographic variables (age, race, ethnicity and, for Hispanic women, nativity) and a variety of socioeconomic and psychosocial psychosocial /psy·cho·so·cial/ (si?ko-so´shul) pertaining to or involving both psychic and social aspects.

Involving aspects of both social and psychological behavior.
 variables. We assessed young women's living and familial situations by asking whether they had lived with their biological parents at the time they conceived, whether they currently lived with their unborn baby's father, whether they had moved in the past year and whether they received public assistance (through Medi-Cal, Aid to Families with Dependent Children Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was the name of a federal assistance program in effect from 1935 to 1997,[1] which was administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.  or the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children). Several questions explored respondents' educational and employment status and life aspirations: whether they were currently in school and, if not, whether they had dropped out before or after learning of their pregnancy; whether they would have desired to go to college if nothing stood in their way; whether they expect that they will go to college; whether they had participated in any extracurricular activities or had been empl oyed in the past year; and whether they had and could articulate articulate /ar·tic·u·late/ (ahr-tik´u-lat)
1. to pronounce clearly and distinctly.

2. to make speech sounds by manipulation of the vocal organs.

3. to express in coherent verbal form.

 any life plans or aspirations. We categorized cat·e·go·rize  
tr.v. cat·e·go·rized, cat·e·go·riz·ing, cat·e·go·riz·es
To put into a category or categories; classify.

 participants as having high aspirations if their plans included education- or employment-related goals and as having other aspirations if their goals included only family or children.

Another set of variables relates to young women's experiences after they learned of their pregnancy: whom they talked to, what options they considered and why they chose to have the baby. Several items gauge the respondent's current and past relationship with the baby's father, as well as gathering key data about him--his age, race or ethnicity, education and employment, and whether he has fathered other children. Finally, information on young women's experiences with contraception contraception: see birth control.

Birth control by prevention of conception or impregnation. The most common method is sterilization. The most effective temporary methods are nearly 99% effective if used consistently and correctly.
 and contraceptive services was gathered.

Analytic an·a·lyt·ic or an·a·lyt·i·cal
1. Of or relating to analysis or analytics.

2. Expert in or using analysis, especially one who thinks in a logical manner.

3. Psychoanalytic.

We used one-tailed z-tests to examine the statistical significance of bivariate bi·var·i·ate  
Mathematics Having two variables: bivariate binomial distribution.

Adj. 1.
 differences between young women who intended pregnancy and those who did not. We also performed multinomial regression regression, in psychology: see defense mechanism.

In statistics, a process for determining a line or curve that best represents the general trend of a data set.
 using STATA Stata (Statistics/Data Analysis) is a statistical program created in 1985 by Statacorp that is used by many businesses and academic institutions around the world. Most of its users work in research, especially in the fields of economics, sociology, political science, and  to assess predictors of pregnancy intention status. Because the dependent variable has three categories, this procedure is preferable to logistic regression In statistics, logistic regression is a regression model for binomially distributed response/dependent variables. It is useful for modeling the probability of an event occurring as a function of other factors. . The multivariate model included the demographic variables and several variables that were significantly related to intention at the bivariate level.


Young Women's Characteristics and Aspirations Although the women had diverse backgrounds and experiences, a common theme was turmoil in their lives. Few lived in intact families, most had moved recently, many had not attended school regularly prior to becoming pregnant and a large majority depended on public assistance, at least to pay the medical costs of their pregnancy (Table 2, page 10).

About half of respondents reporting recent moves mentioned that the move was related to their pregnancy or to their relationship with their baby's father (not shown). The other half described complicated living situations and movement between parents, grandparents, siblings siblings npl (formal) → frères et sœurs mpl (de mêmes parents)  and friends that was often related to financial problems, crowded living conditions living conditions nplcondiciones fpl de vida

living conditions nplconditions fpl de vie

living conditions living
, interpersonal in·ter·per·son·al  
1. Of or relating to the interactions between individuals: interpersonal skills.

 conflict, and behavioral or substance abuse problems (either their own or among the people around them). Of the 44% of respondents who had dropped out of school prior to their pregnancy, many had had problems at school, had dropped out because of recent moves or had had a constellation Constellation, ship
Constellation (kŏnstĭlā`shən), U.S. frigate, launched in 1797. It was named by President Washington for the constellation of 15 stars in the U.S. flag of that time.
 of personal, family or financial issues that kept them from attending school regularly (not shown).

A majority of respondents had had high goals for their education or life plans. However, many did not now expect to reach those goals, and a sizable siz·a·ble also size·a·ble  
Of considerable size; fairly large.

siza·ble·ness n.
 minority (24%) had no life plans that they could articulate. During the year prior to their pregnancy, 58% of young women had participated in one or more extracurricular activities, such as performing arts, church youth groups or sports.

In these young women's circles, early childbearing is not uncommon. Nearly seven in 10 had close friends or teenage siblings who were pregnant or already had children. In addition, many respondents reported social alienation In sociology and critical social theory, alienation refers to an individual's estrangement from traditional community and others in general. It is considered by many that the atomism of modern society means that individuals have shallower relations with other people than they would  or unhealthy past or present dating relationships. Ten percent had no close friends, and 47% had been in a controlling or abusive Tending to deceive; practicing abuse; prone to ill-treat by coarse, insulting words or harmful acts. Using ill treatment; injurious, improper, hurtful, offensive, reproachful.  relationship, either prior to or with their baby's father.

Women's Pregnancy Intentions

Some 32% of respondents had intended to become pregnant, 25% had not cared and 43% had not intended to become pregnant. These proportions differ widely according to women's age and race or ethnicity: Only 22% of 15-16-year-olds had intended to conceive, compared with 36% of 17-18-year-olds; the proportion was 14% among black women, 34% among U.S.-born Hispanic respondents and 46% among foreign-born Hispanic young women (Figure 2, page 11). Thus, comparing young women who had intended pregnancy with those who had not reveals wide variation in demographic and background characteristics (Table 2). Participants who had intended to conceive were more likely than those who had not to be older (80% vs. 65%) and of foreign-born Hispanic origin (41% vs. 16%). (*)

Moreover, young women who had intended pregnancy had greater social and economic disadvantage than those who had not. For example, at the time they conceived, they were less likely to be living with a biological parent (49% vs. 70%), more likely to have dropped out of school (54% vs. 35%) and less likely to have recently been employed (62% vs. 78%). They also had lower expectations for their education and life plans. Only 33% of those who had intended to conceive had had high aspirations, compared with 72% of those who had not intended to become pregnant; 44% and 15%, respectively, had had no life plans. Finally, compared with participants who had not planned to become pregnant, those who had intended to conceive were more likely to have no close friends, to have a sister who had been a teenage mother (but not to have a friend in that situation) and to have been in a relationship with a controlling or abusive partner.

How Women Explain Their Pregnancy Intention Of those who had wanted to become pregnant, more than half gave reasons that reflected their desire for a baby--e.g., "I like babies, having something that's mine," "I like children a lot, and at least with that, I will entertain myself" and "It's weird, but something or someone is telling me to have a baby. My mom (1) (Messaging-Oriented Middleware) See messaging middleware.

(2) (Microsoft Operations Manager) Software that monitors and captures system and application events throughout the network.
 can't take care of me, so I will have one to be a better mom and show her how to take care of her kids." Nearly a third gave reasons related to the desires or perceived desires of the baby's father (e.g., "He wanted me to get pregnant, and I was willing"), and nearly one in four said that the "time was right" to begin their family.

The majority (62%) of those who had not intended to become pregnant said simply that they had not wanted or were not ready to have a baby; others explained that they had felt a baby would interfere with their goals or that their life or financial situation was too unstable unstable,
adj 1. not firm or fixed in one place; likely to move.
2. capable of undergoing spontaneous change. A nuclide in an unstable state is called
radioactive. An atom in an unstable state is called
 to support a baby.

Those who had not cared about becoming pregnant could not provide clear reasons for that feeling. Some said that they had had mixed feelings about becoming pregnant or that they had wanted to become pregnant, but not yet. Others responded that they considered pregnancy inevitable, it just did not matter either way, they did not know what they wanted or they had never thought about it. One young woman commented, "It just happened. I didn't think about it, he didn't think about it. It's not like-we cared a lot....We've been together two years, and I haven't gotten pregnant and we've had unprotected sex Unprotected sex refers to any act of sexual intercourse in which the participants use no form of barrier contraception. Sexually transmitted infections
Specifically, unprotected sex

Many assumed chat they would not get pregnant because they had not become pregnant during past unprotected sex. They combined their belief (and fear) that they might be infertile in·fer·tile
Not capable of initiating, sustaining, or supporting reproduction.

adj unable to produce offspring.
 with a fatalistic fa·tal·ism  
1. The doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable.

2. Acceptance of the belief that all events are predetermined and inevitable.
 view about life and pregnancy--and, in this way, rationalized their pregnancy and childbearing as something that was "meant to be."

Observed and Anticipated Benefits of Childbearing To explore the motivations associated with different pregnancy intentions, we asked the women what they observed and expected to be the advantages of youthful childbearing. Nearly half of those with friends who were parents mentioned that young mothers were forced to become more mature and stable. For example, one woman replied, "The best thing [for my friend] was she stopped doing the bad stuff, like drugs and gang-banging." About one respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests.  in 10 anticipated gaining maturity and stability after giving birth. Reported benefits of youthful childbearing also included family, love, responsibility and a better relationship with the baby's father.

Native-born Hispanic and black women were more likely than other women to mention maturity and stability as observed or anticipated advantages of youthful childbearing, while foreign-born Hispanic adolescents were more likely than others to mention love, family and a better relationship with the baby's father.

Relationship with the Baby's Father

At the time they conceived, 98% of these young women were in steady dating relationships with or were engaged to their baby's father (Table 3). On average, they had been dating for more than a year and were about three and a half years younger than the father.

Although only one-third of the young women had wanted to become pregnant, about half reported that their partner had wanted them to conceive. Roughly one in four thought that their partner had not wanted them to become pregnant, and a similar proportion thought that he had not cared. In all, 27% of respondents reported that both they and their partner had wanted to get pregnant, 19% reported that neither had wanted the pregnancy and the rest reported mixed or ambivalent am·biv·a·lent  
Exhibiting or feeling ambivalence.

am·biva·lent·ly adv.

Adj. 1.
 intentions (mostly that the baby's father had the greater preference for having a baby--not shown).

Compared with young women who had not intended to become pregnant, those who had wanted a pregnancy had older partners (on average, 22 vs. 20 years) and reported a greater age difference between themselves and their partners (five years vs. three). They also were more likely to be living with their baby's father at the time of the interview (56% vs. 20%), to think that they are "very likely" to marry in the next few years (73% vs. 39%) and to report that their partner had intended the pregnancy (84% vs. 28%).

Multivariate Analysis to Predict Intention Status

The multinomial regression analysis In statistics, a mathematical method of modeling the relationships among three or more variables. It is used to predict the value of one variable given the values of the others. For example, a model might estimate sales based on age and gender.  assessed the influence of a variety of characteristics on women's risk of having intended to become pregnant vs. having not intended to conceive and their risk of having intended pregnancy vs. having not cared (Table 4). Two sets of results are reported--one including and one excluding the effects of the father's pregnancy intentions. Because of the small sample size and exploratory nature of this analysis, significance is reported for relative risk ratios up to the .10 level.

When father's pregnancy intentions were excluded, the analysis comparing young women who had intended pregnancy with those who had not revealed that foreign-born Hispanic teenagers were nearly seven times as likely as their white and Asian counterparts to have wanted the pregnancy (risk ratio, 6.7). The likelihood of having intended the pregnancy was also elevated among women who had had no plans for their life (risk ratio, 5.5), women who had ever been in a controlling or abusive relationship (2.8) and those whose baby's father was aged 20 or older (2.6).

Risk ratios associated with having had no life plans and having been in an abusive relationship changed little when young women who had intended pregnancy were compared with those who had not cared. In this comparison, the ratio associated with having a partner who was at least 20 years old diminished di·min·ish  
v. di·min·ished, di·min·ish·ing, di·min·ish·es
a. To make smaller or less or to cause to appear so.

 slightly and was only marginally significant; race and ethnicity had no independent association with intention status.

In the analyses including the father's intentions, young women who reported that their partner had wanted them to get pregnant were nearly 15 times as likely as others to have intended the pregnancy (as opposed to having not intended it). The effects of foreign-born Hispanic ethnicity, having had no life plans and having ever been in an abusive relationship remained strong and significant, but partner's age was no longer associated with intention status.

The effect of partner's pregnancy intentions on young women intending pregnancy compared with those who had not cared was significant, but not nearly as strong as in the prior comparison. Additionally, young women with no close friends had an elevated likelihood of having intended the pregnancy.

Contraceptive Use

Overall, 80% of respondents had ever used a method of contraception, and 67% had received contraceptive methods or information from a clinic or doctor; however, 63% had used no method during the month in which conception occurred (Table 5). Some 24% attributed the pregnancy to their failure to use a method or inconsistent method use during the month of conception (user failure); 13% said that it had resulted from method failure (i.e., they had used their method consistently during the month they conceived, or they had used a condom 1. condom - The protective plastic bag that accompanies 3.5-inch microfloppy diskettes. Rarely, also used of (paper) disk envelopes. Unlike the write protect tab, the condom (when left on) not only impedes the practice of SEX but has also been shown to have a high failure  that broke).

Levels of contraceptive use and reasons for nonuse varied considerably according to whether the young woman had planned to conceive. Those who had intended to get pregnant were less likely than those who had not to have ever used a contraceptive method Noun 1. contraceptive method - birth control by the use of devices (diaphragm or intrauterine device or condom) or drugs or surgery

birth control, birth prevention, family planning - limiting the number of children born
 (71% vs. 90%), to have ever used condoms (65% vs. 87%) and to have used a method during the month of conception (18% vs. 55%). Among women who had wanted to become pregnant, the most often cited reason for nonuse was their own or their partner's desire to become pregnant.

One-third of teenagers who had not cared about getting pregnant had used contraceptives during the month of conception. The most common reason this group cited for nonuse (mentioned by 27%) was that they thought use was unnecessary--often because they were in monogamous relationships and not worried about STDs, or because they had had unprotected sex in the past without becoming pregnant. Almost the same proportion (24%) said that they had never thought about using a method or talked about it with their partners. Typical responses regarding nonuse included "Never thought about it; it's not comfortable, so we didn't use it and we trusted each other [not to have a disease]" and "Once, we were having sex and the condom broke, and after that we stopped using condoms. We were both tested for STDs, and pregnancy was the farthest thing from my mind."

Among those not intending to become pregnant, 55% had used a contraceptive method during the month that conception occurred: Some 19% had used a method that failed, but 36% had skipped using their method at the time conception was likely to have occurred. The reason most often cited for nonuse among this group was that they had been careless careless adj., adv. 1) negligent. 2) the opposite of careful. A careless act can result in liability for damages to others. (See: negligent, negligence, care)  or had forgotten to use a method (35%). Other common reasons were that they had never thought about using a method or discussed it with their partner, and they lacked access to or information about contraceptives.

Reactions and Communication Patterns

Respondents had had a wide range of emotional reactions upon learning of their pregnancy, and they had confided in and discussed their options for dealing with it with both family members and peers. Four in 10 (42%) said they had had only negative feelings--including anger, fright, confusion, worry, shock and sadness-upon learning about the pregnancy (Table 6). About one in four (27%) had had only positive reactions, mostly happiness and excitement. Nearly as many (24%) reported mixed emotional responses; they had been "happy and sad and confused and scared," all at the same time. As might be expected, young women who had intended to become pregnant were the most likely to report only positive emotional reactions (59%), while those who had not intended to conceive were the most likely to report only negative reactions (58%).

In all, 77% of young women told someone else about the pregnancy the same day that they learned of it; this proportion was higher among women desiring pregnancy (86%) than among those who became pregnant accidentally (65%). The baby's father was generally the first to be told (42%); again, the proportion was higher for those who had intended their pregnancies (49%) than for those who had not (28%).

Two-thirds (67%) of respondents reported that their partner was very happy when he first learned of the pregnancy; 81% said that he was very happy about the pregnancy now and 80% expected him to be at the baby's delivery. Women who had intended to become pregnant were significantly more likely to give these responses than were those who had not. Additionally, while 75% of all respondents were still dating or engaged to the baby's father at the time of the interview and 54% thought they were likely to get married, these proportions were considerably higher among participants who had wanted to conceive than among those whose pregnancy had been unintended.

Seventeen percent of respondents told their mothers about the pregnancy before telling anyone else; (*) 52% told their mothers within a month of learning that they were pregnant (not shown). Sixteen percent expected and received a positive reaction from their mothers, and 38% received a more positive reaction than they had expected; often, the mother unexpectedly supported the teenager Teenager
See also Adolescence.

Ah, Wilderness!

high-school senior has problems with girls and his father. [Am. Drama: O’Neill Ah, Wilderness! in Sobel, 15]

Aldrich, Henry

teenaged film character of the 1940s. [Am.
, instead of scolding or disowning dis·own  
tr.v. dis·owned, dis·own·ing, dis·owns
To refuse to acknowledge or accept as one's own; repudiate.

Noun 1.

Thirty percent of young women both expected and received a negative reaction from their mothers. They reported that their mothers were shocked, sad, emotional or upset. One respondent said her mother told her "what a stupid fool" she was. Nevertheless, at the time of the interview, 81% of mothers were reported to be very supportive of their pregnant daughters.

In general, fathers both were expected to have and had more negative reactions to their daughters' pregnancies than mothers. (*) However, 31 % of fathers had more positive reactions than the young women expected, and 62% were reportedly very supportive at the time of the interview.

Teenagers who had wanted to become pregnant were much more likely than those whose pregnancy had been unintended to report expecting and receiving a positive reaction from both their mothers (31% vs. 9%) and their fathers (20% vs. 1%).

Overall, 12% of women said that both of their parents and the baby's father had reacted positively when told about the pregnancy. A majority reported positive reactions from either the baby's father alone (35%) or the baby's father and one parent (24%). Some 17% reported no positive reactions from either of their parents or their baby's father; 23% of those with an unintended pregnancy gave this response, compared with 8% of those who had wanted to conceive.

Seventy-six percent of respondents had felt comfortable telling their friends about their pregnancy; however, 28% said that it had negatively affected their relationship with one or more friends. Those who had desired pregnancy were more likely than those whose pregnancy had been unintended to have felt comfortable telling their friends about it (87% vs. 65%).


* Choosing to give birth. When they first learned that they were pregnant, 64% of respondents were "very sure about wanting to keep the baby"; 36% "needed some time to think about do" (Table 7). Only 15% of those who had intended the pregnancy responded that they needed time to think about whether they would keep the baby, compared with 59% of those who had not intended to become pregnant.

When asked why they had decided to keep the baby, 46% reported only reasons related to wanting or accepting motherhood (i.e., they wanted a baby, wanted to take responsibility or had support for keeping the baby), 32% reported that they were keeping the baby only because they were against abortion or adoption, 19% reported both wanting the baby and being against abortion and adoption, and 3% reported that they were keeping the baby only because others wanted them to.

Nearly three out of four adolescents who had intened to become pregnant gave only positive reasons for deciding to keep their baby. However, among women who had not intended to get pregnant, only 25% responded this way; 51% reported that they had decided to keep the baby only because they had not wanted to have an abortion or place the child for adoption.

Reported reasons for keeping the baby also differed among young women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds (not shown). Foreign-born Hispanic teenagers most often said they had decided to keep the baby because they had wanted a baby (63%) or someone else, usually the baby's father, had wanted them to have a baby (20%). U.S.-born Hispanic women were equally divided between those who had wanted a baby (49%) and those who did not want to have an abortion (47%); in addition, 26% mentioned that a reason for having the baby was to take responsibility for their mistakes. Black respondents most frequently said that their decision was based solely on unwillingness to have an abortion (63%) and least often reported that it stemmed stemmed  
1. Having the stems removed.

2. Provided with a stem or a specific type of stem. Often used in combination: stemmed goblets; long-stemmed roses.
 from their desire to have a baby (28%); black young women were more likely than others to have decided to keep the baby solely because they did not want to have an abortion. Although these differences may be related to young women's prior pregnancy intentions, three-way cross-tabulation s indicate that even among women with the same intention, the reasons given for keeping their babies differed according to race or ethnicity (not shown).

The decision to keep the baby was also related to women's perceptions of the advantages and disadvantages of teenage childbearing. In all, 45% of participants described their pregnancy as a meaningful, positive experience (e.g., "This is something good, it's not bad like they say these days, I think it's the best. And, I don't know, maybe it can help me. It means a huge responsibility.... I have to fight to get my child ahead"). Other reported advantages of having a child as a teenager include the love and companionship companionship

the faculty possessed by most truly domesticated animals. They are social creatures and have a great need for the companionship of other animals. Animals in groups are quieter and more productive as a rule.
 of a child (15%) and the impetus Impetus is a stimulus or impulse, a moving force that sparks momentum.

Impetus may also refer to:
  • Theory of impetus, an obsolete scientific theory on projectile motion, superseded by the modern theory of inertia
 for self-improvement (15%). One in four respondents felt that having a child as a teenager is an advantage because they will still be young when the child is grown, they will be youthful and energetic mothers, and they will "grow up" with their children and have less of a generation gap (not shown).

* Birth and residence preferences. When considering their options after first learning about the pregnancy, 51% of the young women wanted to have their baby and marry or live with the baby's father; 40% wanted to have the baby and live on their own or with their parents (Table 7). Only 7% wanted to have an abortion or place the baby for adoption. By contrast, according to the respondents, 71% of their partners initially wanted them to have the baby and get married or live together, 15% wanted them to have the baby and live at home or on their own, and 13% wanted them to have an abortion; none of the fathers favored placing the baby for adoption.

The contrast between young women's preferences and those they reported for their partners are even more striking when looked at by pregnancy intention. Respondents who had intended to become pregnant reported high agreement between themselves and the baby's father in their preference for marrying or living together (78% for the young women and 80% for their partners). However, among teenagers who had not intended pregnancy, there was little such agreement: Only 23% of young women preferred this option, compared with 63% of their partners.

* Social support. Beside talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
lecture, speech

rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to
 their partners and parents about their pregnancy options, many young women talked with a variety of other people (not shown): clinic staff (56%), friends (45%), and sisters, aunts or other adult relatives (39%). Still, when asked who had helped them the most in making the decision to continue the pregnancy, 23% reported that the decision had been theirs alone; 34% said that the baby's father was the most important in helping to make the decision, 20% said their mother and 15% said another relative was most important (Table 7). Few women considered their friends or staff at a clinic or other facility the most helpful (4-5%).

For young women who had intended the pregnancy or who had not cared, the baby's father helped most with the decision to continue the pregnancy (mentioned by more than 40% of respondents). By contrast, partners were much less helpful to young women who had not intended to become pregnant; these teenagers relied more on themselves (29%) and their mothers (28%) in making the decision.

* Consideration of abortion. When asked about the option of abortion, only one in three young women responded that they had even considered it (Table 8, page 18). As expected, teenagers who had not intended their pregnancy were more likely to have considered abortion (47%) than were those who had wanted to conceive (20%).

We asked the women either why they had not considered abortion or why they had decided against it. Most (65%) gave reasons related to opposition to or fear of abortion, 24% gave reasons related to wanting or being resigned to have the baby, 6% said they wanted a baby and were opposed to or afraid of abortion and 5% said that others' desire for them to have a baby and opposition to abortion influenced them. Among those who had not considered abortion, the most important reason was moral opposition, while those who had considered it most commonly had felt that it was not right, given their circumstances (not shown).

Although the fact that few young women even considered abortion was somewhat surprising, it was not totally unexpected, given that nationwide, the proportion of adolescent pregnancies being resolved through abortion is declining. (20) However, it raises questions as to why young people are moving away from abortion and what distinguishes young childbearing women who might have opted for abortion from those who would not even consider it.

Most of the teenagers had had some experience with abortion. Ten percent had had an abortion, and 60% had friends who had had an abortion (Table 8). Young women who had not intended to become pregnant were more likely than those who had desired pregnancy to have friends who had had an abortion (75% vs. 43%). Among those with friends who had had an abortion, 46% approved of that decision. Common reasons given for their disapproval included moral objections to abortion and strong beliefs that irresponsible ir·re·spon·si·ble  
1. Marked by a lack of responsibility: irresponsible accusations.

2. Lacking a sense of responsibility; unreliable or untrustworthy.

 behavior should be punished pun·ish  
v. pun·ished, pun·ish·ing, pun·ish·es
1. To subject to a penalty for an offense, sin, or fault.

2. To inflict a penalty for (an offense).

. Typical comments included "It wasn't the baby's fault; it was their fault" and "If they lay down with a person, they should've had a baby."

Thirty-six percent of respondents believed it was very easy for a teenager to obtain an abortion in the area where they lived, and 29% thought it was somewhat easy. Among young women who had not intended to become pregnant, 80% thought it was at least somewhat easy to get an abortion, and only 5% thought it was very difficult. Thus, perceived lack of access to abortion was rarely a problem among young women who were most likely to have considered abortion.

When asked about specific reasons that might make it difficult for a teenager to get an abortion, 15% said having no provider nearby, 38% cited the cost of the procedure, 47% responded that her parents might stop her and 81% said that it would be a difficult personal decision to make. In addition, 79% thought that if a law were enacted requiring minors to obtain parental consent prior to an abortion, it would present a major obstacle for teenagers seeking abortion.


Although the findings from this study are not representative for all childbearing teenagers across the nation or even within California, they illustrate relationships between young women's characteristics, pregnancy intentions and behavior that are likely to be applicable for a broad group of U.S. teenagers.

One limitation of the study is that it was based on a small sample that is composed primarily of low-income, minority teenagers. Another potential limitation is that retrospectively ret·ro·spec·tive  
1. Looking back on, contemplating, or directed to the past.

2. Looking or directed backward.

3. Applying to or influencing the past; retroactive.

 asking young women about their pregnancy intentions may have resulted in some "adjustment" of intentions based on young women's current feelings about the pregnancy. However, this study has an important advantage over many national studies that have asked about women's intention regarding pregnancies that occurred up to several years prior to the interview. Here, intention was explored prior to the birth and the next phase of bonding that occurs as women make the transition to motherhood.

Evidence from this study indicates that while these young women differ according to many background characteristics, in their relationships with the young men who fathered their babies and in the circumstances that led them to conceive, their lives typically reflect a pattern of disadvantage that is likely to have contributed to their pregnancies. Moreover, disadvantage may influence teenage reproductive behavior Reproductive behavior

Behavior related to the production of offspring; it includes such patterns as the establishment of mating systems, courtship, sexual behavior, parturition, and the care of young.
 through multiple mechanisms, and differing theoretical models (e.g., inability to avoid risks (21) versus rational adaptive strategy (22)) may be applicable for different types of women.

For most of the young women in this study, pregnancy was unintended, and childbearing resulted from behaviors and attitudes that may have been directly or indirectly influenced by their disadvantaged backgrounds and their limited expectations for the future (i.e., sexual activity combined with poor or nonexistent non·ex·is·tence  
1. The condition of not existing.

2. Something that does not exist.

 contraceptive use, poor communication about contraception, low motivation to avoid pregnancy and personal opposition to abortion). For others, who reported an intended pregnancy, childbearing was a choice based on the young woman's perception of herself, her relationship with her partner and the role of childbearing in her future.

The findings from the multivariate analysis support the hypothesis that many factors that distinguish childbearing teenagers from those who avoid early childbearing also distinguish youth who intend pregnancy from those who conceive unintentionally. Many of the young women who intended pregnancy viewed childbearing positively, as a way of setting a course for their lives--a way to gain maturity and stability. Childbearing may serve as a rational, adaptive strategy for moving from somewhat risky "adolescent" behavior to more stable "adult" roles.

However, the strong association between intended pregnancy and foreign-born Hispanic ethnicity suggests a somewhat different pattern for these young women. They were less likely than other respondents to have been in controlling or abusive relationships and much more likely to have strong support for the pregnancy from the baby's father. This may suggest patterns of early family formation consistent with cultural norms from their homelands. However, given that these young women were also more likely than other groups to have had no life plans or very modest educational or career plans, they may have not yet become acculturated toward such expectations, been able to access potential opportunities or faced a variety of social, economic or educational barriers that are greater than those faced by native-born teenagers.

The findings suggest that successful interventions will need to be tailored differently for young women, depending on where pregnancy and childbearing fit into their overall life experiences. Teenagers who are trying to become pregnant will not benefit from the same kinds of interventions as those who are not contemplating pregnancy but who may have characteristics that put them at risk for unintended childbearing. And even among adolescents intending pregnancy, different approaches may be necessary, depending upon their reasons for wanting to begin childbearing.

Furthermore, the importance of partners and their influence on young women must be addressed. This study clearly illustrates the significant role that young men and their desires have on the events leading to conception. Partners' intentions were most predictive for young women who had wanted the pregnancy, leading us to suspect that partners were instrumental in shaping the intentions that young women reported for themselves. That these women were more likely than others to have ever been in a controlling relationship indicates a pattern of susceptibility susceptibility

the state of being susceptible. Refers usually to infectious disease but may be to physical factors such as wetting or to psychological factors such as harassment.
 to partner control among some teenagers. Thus, it may be important to assess both women's past relationship experiences and their current relationships, and to counsel them to find ways to define themselves, their goals and their lives independently of their partners.

For the majority of teenagers who are not seeking pregnancy, interventions aimed at improving contraceptive behavior would be most effective. Many of these women do not have an accurate understanding of conception or how to use contraceptives effectively. Many are not comfortable enough with their sexuality to plan ahead, obtain contraceptives or even talk about method use with their partners. Moreover, the passive, fatalistic attitude toward pregnancy and childbearing that many young women express almost assures that many will conceive. Simple, accurate education about conception and effective contraceptive use is clearly needed, as are programs to improve young women's s self-esteem self-esteem

Sense of personal worth and ability that is fundamental to an individual's identity. Family relationships during childhood are believed to play a crucial role in its development.
, assertiveness assertiveness /as·ser·tive·ness/ (ah-ser´tiv-nes) the quality or state of bold or confident self-expression, neither aggressive nor submissive.  and ability to take greater responsibility for their lives and their futures.

Targeted interventions are needed for teenagers with characteristics that may predispose pre·dis·pose
To make susceptible, as to a disease.
 them to want to become pregnant. These characteristics include dropping out of school, having no plans or goals for their lives, having been in a controlling or abusive relationship and not having a good familial or social network. Since young women of Hispanic ethnicity and foreign nativity are overrepresented among teenagers who intend pregnancy, special attention should be given to designing specific, culturally appropriate approaches. For others with these risk factors, who may seek childbearing as a way of bringing stability, purpose and love into their lives, alternative paths are needed. Broad social interventions that can address the lack of love and family that many young people feel have the potential to reduce teenage childbearing among young women who seek to bear children.

Finally, many of the young women in the sample who had not intended pregnancy reported attitudes and beliefs about abortion that preclude serious consideration of this option. Consequently, efforts to improve abortion access in these counties are unlikely to have much effect on the proportion of pregnant teenagers choosing abortion. This makes it all the more important to improve contraceptive access and to emphasize the counseling of youth about effective contraceptive use and pregnancy prevention. Such a course will help to reduce the number of teenagers who find themselves in a position that can result only in their "choosing" to bear an unintended child.

(*) Providers were initially identified from lists of California Perinatal perinatal /peri·na·tal/ (-na´t'l) relating to the period shortly before and after birth; from the twentieth to twenty-ninth week of gestation to one to four weeks after birth.

 Services Program participants supplied by county maternal MATERNAL. That which belongs to, or comes from the mother: as, maternal authority, maternal relation, maternal estate, maternal line. Vide Line.  and child health directors. About 60 providers were contacted by phone to assess the number of pregnant teenagers served per year. Additional providers were identified during this inquiry. Among the 45 providers who gave us the number of teenage prenatal prenatal /pre·na·tal/ (-na´tal) preceding birth.

Preceding birth. Also called antenatal.


preceding birth.
 clients served, most were contacted and invited to participate in the study. Clinics that reportedly served fewer than 20 teenage clients per year or that were affiliated with Catholic institutions were not included. A variety of types of providers participated: 12 community health centers, six Planned Parenthood Planned Parenthood

A service mark used for an organization that provides family planning services.
 clinics, four private women's health Women's Health Definition

Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues.
 care practices, three hospital clinics, two school-based programs for pregnant and parenting teenagers, two county prenatal care or Healthy Start case-management programs and one health department clinic. Twelve providers refused to participate: seven community health centers, one ho spital clinic and four private women's health care practices.

(+) Ten were not aged 15-18, nine already had a child, 12 were married prior to conception, 12 were not pregnant when contacted and one planned to place the baby for adoption.

(++) There is no evidence that these women were systematically different from those interviewed. They were dispersed dis·perse  
v. dis·persed, dis·pers·ing, dis·pers·es
a. To drive off or scatter in different directions: The police dispersed the crowd.

 among the four counties, and they probably came from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. (This assumption is based on their names and the clientele of the clinics where they were recruited; the screening questions did not cover race or ethnicity.)

(*) These are weighted percentages and cannot be calculated from the unweighted Ns reported in Table 2.

(*)Respondents who did not jive with or have regular contact with their mothers were asked if they had an alternative "mother figure." Eighty-two percent of respondents referred to their biological mothers, and 13% to "mother figures"; 5% had neither a mother nor a "mother figure" and are excluded from these calculations.

Nearly three out of four adolescents who had intend-

(*.) Respondents who did not live with or have regular contact with their fathers were asked if they had an alternative "father figure." Fifty-six percent of respondents referred to their biological fathers, and 23% to "father figures": 22% had neither a father nor a "father figure" and are excluded from these calculations.


(1.) Henshaw SK and Kost K, Parental involvement in minors' abortion decisions, Family Planning family planning

Use of measures designed to regulate the number and spacing of children within a family, largely to curb population growth and ensure each family’s access to limited resources.
 Perspectives, 1992,24(5): 196-207 & 213.

(2.) Berger DK et al., Hispanic adolescent pregnancy adolescent pregnancy See Teenage pregnancy.  testers: a comparative analysis of negative testers, childbearers and aborters, Adolescence, 1991, 26(104):95 1-1962; Cooksey EC, Factors in the resolution of adolescent premarital pregnancies, Demography demography (dĭmŏg`rəfē), science of human population. Demography represents a fundamental approach to the understanding of human society. , 1990, 27(2):207-218; and Murry VM, An ecological ecological

emanating from or pertaining to ecology.

ecological biome
see biome.

ecological climax
the state of balance in an ecosystem when its inhabitants have established their permanent relationships with each
 analysis of pregnancy resolution decisions among African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race.  and Hispanic adolescent females, Youth and Society, 1995, 26(3):325-350.

(3.) Ibid.; and Resnick MD, Adolescent pregnancy options, Journal of School Health, 1992, 62(7):298-303.

(4.) Ventura SJ, Curtin SC and Mathews TJ, Teenage births in the United States: national and state trends, 1990-96, Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 1998; The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) A machine intelligence that resembles that of a human being. Considered impossible by many, most artificial intelligence (AI) research, projects and products deal with specific applications such as industrial robots, playing chess, ), Teenage pregnancy: overall trends and state-by-state information, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
: AGI, 1999; and Ventura SJ, Mathews TJ and Curtin, Declines in teenage birthrates 1991-98: update of national and state trends, National Vital Statistics Reports, 1999, Vol. 47, No. 26.

(5.) California Department of Finance The California Department of Finance is located in Sacramento, California. It is responsible resource allocation for the state’s annual financial plan. As part of the executive branch of the state, it is within the fold of the governor of California's administration. , Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 1970-2040, Sacramento: California Department of Finance, 1998.

(6.) Kirby D, No Easy Answers: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy, Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1997; Miller BC, Risk factors for adolescent nonmarital childbearing, in: Department of Health and Human Services Noun 1. Department of Health and Human Services - the United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with health and welfare; created in 1979
Health and Human Services, HHS
 (DHHS DHHS Department of Health & Human Services (US government)
DHHS Dana Hills High School (Dana Point, California)
DHHS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
DHHS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
), Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing, Hyattsville, MD: DHHS, 1995, pp. 217-227; and Moore Moore, city (1990 pop. 40,761), Cleveland co., central Okla., a suburb of Oklahoma City; inc. 1887. Its manufactures include lightning- and surge-protection equipment, packaging for foods, and auto parts.  KA et al., Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and Childbearing: A Review of Recent Research, Washington, DC: Child Trends, 1995.

(7.) Trent K and Crowder K, Adolescent birth intentions, social disadvantage, and behavioral outcomes, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 1997, 59(3):523-535; and Furstenburg FF Jr., As the pendulum swings: teenage childbearing and social concern, Family Relations, 1991, 40(2):127-138.

(8.) Geronimus AT, Teenage childbearing and social and reproductive re·pro·duc·tive
1. Of or relating to reproduction.

2. Tending to reproduce.


subserving or pertaining to reproduction.
 disadvantage: the evolution of complex questions and the demise Death. A conveyance of property, usually of an interest in land. Originally meant a posthumous grant but has come to be applied commonly to a conveyance that is made for a definitive term, such as an estate for a term of years.  of simple answers, Family Relations, 1991, 40(4):463-471; and Geronimus AT, Teenage childbearing and social disadvantage: unprotected discourse, Family Relations, 1992, 41(2):244-248.

(9.) Henshaw SK, Unintended pregnancy in the United States, Family Planning Perspectives, 1998, 30(1):24-29 & 46.

(10.) Zabin LS, Astone NM and Emerson MR, Do adolescents want babies? the relationship between attitudes and behavior, Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1993, 3(1):67-86.

(11.) Adler NE and Tschann JM, Conscious and preconscious motivation for pregnancy among female adolescents, in: Lawson A and Rhode DL, eds., The Politics of Pregnancy: Adolescent Sexuality and Public Policy New Haven New Haven, city (1990 pop. 130,474), New Haven co., S Conn., a port of entry where the Quinnipiac and other small rivers enter Long Island Sound; inc. 1784. Firearms and ammunition, clocks and watches, tools, rubber and paper products, and textiles are among the many : Yale University Yale University, at New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701 largely as a result of the efforts of James Pierpont, it opened at Killingworth (now Clinton) in 1702, moved (1707) to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and in 1716 was  Press, 1993, pp. 14-58.

(12.) Zabin LS, Hirsch MB and Boscia JA, Differential characteristics of adolescent pregnancy test patients: abortion, childbearing and negative test groups, Journal of Adolescent Health Care, 1990, 11(2):107-113; Kenny JW, Reinholtz C and Angelini PJ, Ethnic differences in childhood and adolescent sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy, Journal of Adolescent Health, 1997, 21(1):3-10; Plotnick RD, The effects of attitudes on teenage premarital pregnancy and its resolution, American Sociological Review, 1992, 57(6):800-811; Manlove J, The influence of high school dropout (1) On magnetic media, a bit that has lost its strength due to a surface defect or recording malfunction. If the bit is in an audio or video file, it might be detected by the error correction circuitry and either corrected or not, but if not, it is often not noticed by the human  and school disengagement disengagement /dis·en·gage·ment/ (dis?en-gaj´ment) emergence of the fetus from the vaginal canal.

 on the risk of school-age pregnancy, Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1998, 8(2):187-200; Wu L, Effects of family instability, income, and income instability on the risk of a premarital birth, American Sociological Review, 1996, 61(3):386-405; and Moore KA et al., Nonmarital school-age motherhood: family, individual and school characteristics, Journal of Adolescent Research, 1998,13(4):433-457.

(13.) Henshaw SK and Van Vort J, Abortion services in the United States, 1991 and 1992, Family Planning perspectives, 1994, 26(3):100-106 & 112.

(14.) Sollom T, Gold RB and Saul R, Public funding for contraceptive, sterilization sterilization

Any surgical procedure intended to end fertility permanently (see contraception). Such operations remove or interrupt the anatomical pathways through which the cells involved in fertilization travel (see reproductive system).
 and abortion services, 1994, Family Planning Perspectives, 1996, 28(4):166-173.

(15.) Henshaw SK, 1998, op. cit. (see reference 9).

(16.) Henshaw SK and Van Vort J, Teenage abortion, birth and pregnancy statistics: an update, Family Planning Perspectives, 1989, 21(2):85-88.

(17.) Henshaw SK, Teenage abortion, birth and pregnancy statistics by state, 1988, Family Planning Perspectives, 1993, 25(3):122-126.

(18.) Henshaw SK, Teenage abortion and pregnancy statistics by state, 1992, Family Planning Perspectives, 1997,29(3):115-122.

(19.) Ventura SJ, Mathews TJ and Curtin SC, Declines in teenage birth rates, 1991-1997: national and state patterns, National Vital Statistics Reports, 1998, Vol. 47, No. 12.

(20.) Henshaw SK, 1998, op. cit. (see reference 9); Henshaw SK and Van Vort J, 1989, op. cit. (see reference 16); Henshaw SK, 1993, op. cit. (see reference 17); and Henshaw SK, 1997, op. cit. (see reference 18).

(21.) Miller BC, 1995, op. cit. (see reference 6); and Moore KA et al., 1995, op. cit. (see reference 6).

(22.) Trent K and Crowder K, 1997, op. cit (see reference 7); and Furstenburg FF Jr., 1991, op. cit. (see reference 7).

[Graph omitted]

[Graph omitted]
Table 1.

Percentage distribution of of pregnant 15-18-year-old women in four
California counties who intend to carry their pregnancy to term, by
race/ethnicity and by age; and percentage distribution of birth to 15
-18-year-olds, by race/ethnicity and by age, the four study counties,
California and the United States, 1995

Population               N        Total       Race/ethnicity
                                             U.S.-born  Foreign-born

Pregnant women           187       100.0     35.3       28.9
Births to teenagers in:
 Study counties          3,746     100.0     32.1 (+)   26.2 (+)
 California              43,838    100.0     34.2       28.3
 United States           331,043   100.0     9.4 (++)   15.1 (++)

Population                                       Age
                         White     Black     Asian     15-16

Pregnant women           7.0       24.6      4.3       48.1
Births to teenagers in:
 Study counties          18.1      16.7      6.8       29.2
 California              21.0      11.0      5.4       29.1
 United States           44.1      28.2      3.3       28.1

Population                  Age

Pregnant women           51.9
Births to teenagers in:
 Study counties          70.8
 California              70.9
 United States           71.9

(*)Included Pacific Islanders and American Indians. (+)The distribution
of Hispanic births by nativity in the study counties is an estimate
based on the distribution at the state level for births to Hispanic
teenagers aged 15-16 and 17-18 separately. (++)The distribution of
Hispanic births by nativity in the United States is an estimate based on
the distribution of births to all women. Note: The four study counties
are Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey. Sources: United
States--Ventura SJ et al., Report of final natality statistics, 1995,
Monthly Vital Statistics Report, 1997, Vol. 45, No. 11, Suppl.
California and study counties--California Department of Health Services
Maternal and Child Health Branch.
Table 2.

Percentage distribution of respondents, by age and by race/
ethnicity; and percentage, by selected characteristics-all according to
pregnancy intention at conception

Characteristic                 Total    Intended  Did not care
                               (N=187)  (N=52)    (N=50)


15-16                          29.0     20.3      29.8
17-18                          71.0     79.7      70.2


Hispanic                       62.5     78.1      62.2
 U.S.-born                     34.2     36.8      29.7
 Foreign-born                  28.3     41.3      32.5
Black                          11.0      5.0      13.2
White                          21.0     12.8      11.9
Asian                           5.4      4.1      12.7

Living situation at

Living with at least one       61.2     49.4      60.9
Living with both parents       24.2     26.2      24.0
Living with mother only        32.5     22.4      30.0


Moved in past year             64.2     66.9      61.8

Public assistance received

Medi-Cal                       86.1     87.4      92.5
WIC benefits                   69.2     74.3      71.2
AFDC benefits                  13.2     19.3       6.2


Currently in school            49.4     41.7      50.6
Dropped out prior to           43.5     54.3      45.3
Would go to college if
 nothing in way                71.2     57.2      68.5
Expect to go to college        44.7     34.4      39.5

Extracurricular activities
 and employment

Participated in any
 extracurricular activities    58.3     48.4      56.6
Employed in past year          69.5     61.5      65.8

Life plans

High aspirations               56.4     32.7      59.5
Other aspirations              19.2     23.2      24.9
No life plans                  24.4     44.2      15.6

Peer relationships

Have no close friends          10.4     19.4       3.8
Have close friend/sibling
 who is expecting/has          68.7     61.0      77.4
  Girlfriend is expecting      30.3     34.8      29.2
  Girlfriend has children      36.9     23.2      39.5
  Male friend has children     20.4     10.6      16.6
  Sister was teenage mother    22.3     32.5      23.2

Partner relationships

Ever in controlling/
 abusive relationship          47.3     55.5      41.0
Ever had a partner who:
 Kept her from doing things    30.2     45.3      19.4
 Refused to use birth control  10.1     13.6       5.6
 Hit or injured her            20.1     32.8      19.5
Ever been raped                13.0     15.8       8.0

Characteristic                 Did not intend


15-16                          35.0 (*)
17-18                          65.0 (*)


Hispanic                       51.2 (***)
 U.S.-born                     35.1
 Foreign-born                  16.1 (***)
Black                          14.2 (*)
White                          32.4 (**)
Asian                           2.2

Living situation at

Living with at least one       69.9 (*)
Living with both parents       22.8
Living with mother only        41.3 (*)


Moved in past year             63.7

Public assistance received

Medi-Cal                       81.4
WIC benefits                   64.3
AFDC benefits                  12.8


Currently in school            54.3
Dropped out prior to           34.5 (*)
Would go to college if
 nothing in way                82.7 (***)
Expect to go to college        55.1 (**)

Extracurricular activities
 and employment

Participated in any
 extracurricular activities    66.5 (*)
Employed in past year          77.5 (*)

Life plans

High aspirations               71.9 (***)
Other aspirations              13.0
No life plans                  15.1 (***)

Peer relationships

Have no close friends           7.8 (*)
Have close friend/sibling
 who is expecting/has          69.2
 children                      27.5
  Girlfriend is expecting      45.3 (**)
  Girlfriend has children      29.8 (**)
  Male friend has children     14.3 (**)
  Sister was teenage mother

Partner relationships

Ever in controlling/
 abusive relationship          45.0
Ever had a partner who:
 Kept her from doing things    25.5 (**)
 Refused to use birth control  10.2
 Hit or injured her            11.2 (***)
Ever been raped                13.8

(*)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who did
not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.05.

(**)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.01.

(***)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.001.

Note: Ns are unweighted; percentages are weighted by statewide age and
race/ethnicity distribution.
Table 3.

Selected measures reflecting characteristics of respondents'
relationship with their baby's father and the father's characteristics,
by pregnancy intention at conception

Measure                              Total          Intended    Did not


Relationship with the father

Dating/engaged before pregnancy      97.7           99.4        100.0
Only steady relationship ever        48.5           48.7         57.3
Living together at the time of       38.0           55.9         47.3
Think marriage is "very likely"      54.3           73.4         56.3
 in next few years

Reasons for first sex with the

Planned to marry him                 57.5           71.3         66.9
Wanted baby                          24.8           51.2         25.1

Father's background characteristics

Employed                             71.5           70.9         77.7
H.S. graduate                        47.6           39.1         50.5
Has other children                   16.9           17.0          6.5

Father's pregnancy intention at

Intended                             52.1           84.3         53.0
Did not care                         22.6            9.0         29.6
Did not intend                       25.2            6.6         17.4

Mos. of dating before conception     13.5 (+)       13.6         16.7
Father's age                         20.5 (++)      21.7         20.2
Age difference between partners       3.6 (++)       4.6          3.4

Measure                                 Did not


Relationship with the father

Dating/engaged before pregnancy         95.1
Only steady relationship ever           43.3
Living together at the time of          19.8 (***)
Think marriage is "very likely"         39.0 (***)
 in next few years

Reasons for first sex with the

Planned to marry him                    42.0 (***)
Wanted baby                              5.3 (***)

Father's background characteristics

Employed                                68.2
H.S. graduate                           51.8
Has other children                      23.0

Father's pregnancy intention at

Intended                                27.8 (***)
Did not care                            28.8 (**)
Did not intend                          43.4 (***)

Mos. of dating before conception        11.6
Father's age                            19.8 (***)
Age difference between partners          3.1 (**)

(**)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.01.

(***)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.001.

(+)Standard deviation is 12.5 months.

(++)Standard deviation is 3.0 years. Note: Percentages are weighted by
statewide age and race/ethnicity distribution.
Table 4.

Relative risk ratios from multinominal regressions showing the
likelihood that women intended to become pregnant versus had other
intentions, by selected characteristics

 Characteristic                Model I
                               Intended vs.    Intended vs.
                               did not intend  did not care


15-16                          rc              rc
17-18                          2.09            1.94


White/Asian                    rc              rc

U.S.-born Hispanic             2.81 (+)        2.19
Foreign-bron Hispanic          6.65 (**)       2.29
Black                          1.49            0.98

Lived with a parent prior to

Yes                            rc              rc
No                             2.21 (+)        1.45

Has any close friends

Yes                            rc              rc
No                             2.11            4.83 (+)

Articulated any life plans

Yes                            rc              rc
No                             5.52 (***)      5.28 (**)

Ever in controlling/abusive

Yes                            2.76 (*)        2.86 (*)
No                             rc              rc

Age of baby's father

15-19                          rc              rc
[greater than or equal to]20   2.63 (*)        2.24 (+)

Father's pregnancy intentions

Did not want/care              na              na
Wanted                         na              na

[chi square]                   56.5
Log likelihood                 -168.163
[R.sup.2]                      0.144

 Characteristic                Model II
                               Intended vs.    Intended vs.
                               did not intend  did not care


15-16                          rc              rc
17-18                           1.97            1.73


White/Asian                    rc              rc
U.S.-born Hispanic              2.64            2.19
Foreign-bron Hispanic           7.23 (**)       2.72
Black                           1.34            1.0

Lived with a parent prior to

Yes                            rc              rc
No                              2.23 (+)        1.39

Has any close friends

Yes                            rc              rc
No                              3.26            6.13 (*)

Articulated any life plans

Yes                            rc              rc
No                              4.18 (**)       4.38 (**)

Ever in controlling/abusive

Yes                             3.50 (*)        3.53 (*)
No                             rc              rc

Age of baby's father

15-19                          rc              rc
[greater than or equal to]20    1.95            1.85

Father's pregnancy intentions

Did not want/care              rc              rc
Wanted                          14.72 (***)     5.83 (***)

[chi square]                   91.1
Log likelihood                 -50.873
[R.sup.2]                      0.232





Notes: rc-reference catory.

na=not applicable.
Table 5.

Percentage of respondents by selected measures related to
contraceptive use, according to pregnancy intention at conception

Measure                                 Total  Intended  Did not


Ever used any method                    80.3   70.7      76.8
Ever received services from clinic/MD   66.5   72.0      63.2
Ever used oral contraceptives           36.5   37.9      20.8
Ever used condoms                       75.8   64.8      70.7

Use during conception month

Used method                             37.0   17.6      32.0
 Reported probable user failure         24.3   11.0      22.5
 Reported probable method failure       12.7    6.7       9.5
Used no method                          63.0   82.4      68.0

Reasons for nonuse (among nonusers)

Respondent desired pregnancy            23.9   57.2       0.0
Never thought/talked about use          18.5    7.2      24.4
Baby's father desired pregnancy         18.3   34.6      11.4
Thought use unnecessary                 17.7   18.0      26.8
Did not like/had problems with methods  17.0   26.3      13.5
Forgot/was careless                     14.6    1.6      11.5
Did not know about/have methods          9.3    0.0      10.8

Measure                                 Did not


Ever used any method                    89.5 (**)
Ever received services from clinic/MD   64.5
Ever used oral contraceptives           44.6
Ever used condoms                       86.9 (**)

Use during conception month

Used method                             54.6 (***)
 Reported probable user failure         35.5 (***)
 Reported probable method failure       19.1 (*)
Used no method                          45.5 (***)

Reasons for nonuse (among nonusers)

Respondent desired pregnancy             0.0 (***)
Never thought/talked about use          28.6 (**)
Baby's father desired pregnancy          2.2
Thought use unnecessary                  9.0
Did not like/had problems with methods   7.5 (**)
Forgot/was careless                     35.2 (***)
Did not know about/have methods         20.5 (***)

(*)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who did
not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.05.

(**)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.01.

(***)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p.<.001.

Note: Percentages are weighted by statewide age and race/ethnicity
Table 6.

Percentage of respondents, by selected measures related to
reaction to and communication about the pregnancy, according to pregancy
intention conception

Measure                        Total  Intended  Did not  Did not
                                                care     intend

Respondent's reaction

Positive only                  27.4   58.5      29.4      3.3 (***)
Negative only                  41.8   16.3      45.8     58.l (***)
Mixed                          23.9   23.4      19.1     27.1
Neutral                         6.6    1.8       5.7     10.7 (*)

Told someone that day          76.8   85.7      85.2     65.2 (**)

First person told

Baby's father                  42.4   49.4      58.2     28.0 (**)
Mother                         16.8   21.7      10.2     17.0
Girlfriend                     16.2    8.6      17.2     21.1 (*)
Other                          24.6   20.2      14.4     33.8 (*)

Baby's father's reaction

Very happy initially           66.5   87.2      67.1     50.0 (***)
Very happy now                 81.3   99.1      89.7     61.7 (***)

Support from baby's father

Father has come to prenatal
 care visits                   54.3   58.7      50.6     53.2
Expect father to be at         80.4   91.7      95.0     62.5 (***)

Relationship with baby's

Dating/engaged at interview    74.7   90.5      89.1     54.7 (***)
Think marriage very likely     54.3   73.4      56.3     39.0 (***)

Mother's reaction

Positive, as expected          16.4   31.2       9.2      8.9 (***)
Negative, as expected          30.3   25.7      34.7     31.5
More positive than expected    38.3   25.4      44.1     45.2 (*)
Neutral/other                  14.9   17.7      11.9     14.4

Mother now very supportive     80.7   73.8      77.6     87.5 (*)

Father's reaction
Positive, as expected          11.2   20.1      14.9     1.1 (***)
Negative, as expected          40.2   24.2      47.6     50.2 (**)
More positive than expected    30.7   22.4      30.2     38.4 (*)
Neutral/other                  17.8   33.3       7.3     l0.2 (***)

Father now very supportive     61.8   52.2      68.9     65.1

Combined reactions of parents
 and baby's father

All positive                   11.7   15.8       6.9     11.5
Only parents positive          12.3    3.1      11.3     19.7 (**)
Baby's father and
 one parent positive           23.7   32.0      12.4     24.2
Baby's father only positive    34.9   41.5      49.9     21.8 (**)
No one positive                17.4    7.7      20.4     22.8 (*)

Felt comfortable telling       76.3   86.8      82.1     64.8 (*)

Relationship with friends
 negatively affected           27.7   20.6      36.2     27.9

(*)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who did
not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.05.

(**)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.01

(***)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.001.

Note: Percentages are weighted by statewide age and race/ethnicity
Table 7.

Percentage distribution of respondents, by selected measures related to
pregnancy decision-making, according to pregnancy intention at

Measure                            Total  Intended  Did not  Did not
                                                     care    intend

Initial reaction

Was sure about keeping baby         64.2   84.6      77.8     41.2 (***)
Needed time to decide what to do    35.8   15.3      22.9     58.8 (***)

Reasons for wanting to keep the

Wanted/accepted having baby         46.2   71.2      51.1     25.0 (***)
Against abortion/adoption           31.5   10.2      24.4     51.3 (***)
Wanted/accepted baby and
 against abortion/adoption          19.0   15.3      20.0     21.3
Baby's father/others wanted baby     3.3    3.4       4.4      2.5

Option respondent favored most at

Birth and marry/live with father    50.6   77.8      63.9     22.9 (***)
Birth and live with family/on
 own                                40.0   21.3      34.3     57.1 (***)
Abortion                             4.9    0.0       1.8     10.4 (**)
Adoption                             2.4    0.8       0.0      5.0
No preference                        2.0    0.0       0.0      4.6

Option baby's father favored most
at first

Birth and marry/live with him       70.9   80.4      71.4     62.6 (*)
Birth and live with her
 family/on own                      14.7   13.7      12.2     17.1
Abortion                            13.0    6.0      12.0     19.6 (*)
Adoption                             0.0    0.0       0.0      0.0
No preference                        1.4    0.0       4.3      0.7

Who helped most with decision to

Baby's father                       33.6   40.8      45.1     21.5 (**)

Respondent made the decision
 herself                            23.1   15.2      23.1     28.9 (*)
Respondent's mother                 20.1   17.2      10.4     27.9
Other relative                      14.5   15.3      17.3     12.3
Clinic/church/school staff           5.1    9.7       0.0      4.7
Friends                              3.6    1.8       4.2      4.6

Total                              100.0  100.0     100.0    100.0

(*)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who did
not the pregnancy is significant at p<.05.

(**)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.01.

(***) Difference between those who itended pregnancy and those who did
not intend the pregnancy the pregnancy is significant at p<.001.

Note: Percentages are weighted by statewide age and race/ethnicity
Table 8.

Percentage of respondents, by selected measures related to abortion
experience and attitudes, according to pregnancy intention at conception

Measure                            Total  Intended  Did not  Did not
                                                    care     intend

Ever considered abortion           32.6   20.0      24.5     46.6 (***)

Reasons abortion not
 considered/not obtained

Wanted/was resigned
 to have baby only                 24.4   33.4      29.0     15.4 (**)
Opposed/afraid to
 have an abortion only             65.2   54.4      63.2     74.0 (**)
Wanted baby and opposed/
 afraid to have abortion            5.7    5.4       5.5      6.1
Others wanted baby/
 against abortion only              4.7    6.7       2.3      4.5

Ever had abortion                  10.1    8.5       5.1     14.1

Friend ever had abortion           60.1   43.3      55.8     75.1 (***)

Approves of friend's abortion (+)  46.0   36.4      34.5     55.2 (*)

Perceived abortion accessibility

Very easy                          36.0   23.0      35.2     49.2 (**)
Somewhat easy                      28.8   31.7      21.9     30.8
Somewhat difficult                 23.9   28.5      30.1     14.9 (*)
Very difficult                     11.4   16.8      12.8      5.0 (*)

Major obstacles to abortion

Too expensive                      38.3   34.6      44.7     37.0
Nowhere nearby                     14.8   23.0       8.4     12.8
Parents would prevent it           47.3   53.3      40.3     47.0
Difficult personal decision        80.6   86.1      74.2     80.5
Parental consent law               78.7   81.0      66.8     84.1

(*)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who did
not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.05.

(**)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.01.

(***)Difference between those who intended the pregnancy and those who
did not intend the pregnancy is significant at p<.001.

(+)Percentages based on those with a friend who had had an abortion.

Note: Percentage are weighted by statewide age and race/ethnicity
COPYRIGHT 1999 Guttmacher Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:impact of unintended pregnancy on California teenagers
Publication:Teenagers' Pregnancy Intentions and Decisions: A Study of Young Women in California Choosing to Give
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Dec 1, 1999
Next Article:Percentage of respondents, by selected characteristics according to age, race/ethnicity and county of residence.

Related Articles
Poverty can't be blamed for teenage pregnancy.
Helping teenagers avoid negative consequences of sexual activity.
Adolescent pregnancy.
Outcomes of adolescent pregnancies.
Should minors have over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraception?
Should minors have over-the-counter access to Plan B emergency contraception?
Poor pregnancy outcomes among adolescents in Kenya.
Does location matter?
Campaign aims to reduce unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters