(a) To examine different methods of assessing pregnancy intention; (b) to identify psychosocial differences between those who indicate pregnancy intentions and those who do not; and (c) to examine the relationship between pregnancy intentions and subsequent pregnancy at 6-month follow-up in nonpregnant (at baseline), sexually experienced adolescent females.
Longitudinal cohort study of 354 sexually experienced female adolescents attending either a STD clinic or HMO adolescent medicine clinic in northern California. Student’s t-tests and regressions examined psychosocial differences between females who reported “any” and “no” pregnancy intentions. ANOVAs examined differences among different combinations of pregnancy plans/likelihood. Chi-square analyses assessed associations between baseline pregnancy intentions and subsequent pregnancy.
Adolescents’ reports of their pregnancy plans and their assessments of pregnancy likelihood differed from one another (χ2 = 50.39, df = 1, p < .001). Pregnancy attitudes and baseline contraceptive use differentiated those with inconsistent pregnancy intentions (Not Planning, but Likely) from those with clear pregnancy intentions (Planning and Likely, and Not Planning and Not Likely) (Pregnancy Attitudes: F [2,338] = 68.96, p < .0001; Contraceptive Use: F [2,308] = 14.87, p < .0001). Suspected pregnancies and positive pregnancy test results were associated with baseline pregnancy intentions (Suspected: χ2 = 19.08, df = 2, p < .01; Positive Results: χ2 = 8.84, df = 2, p = .015).
To reduce adolescent childbearing we must assess pregnancy intentions in multiple ways. Information/education might benefit those female adolescents with inconsistent reports of pregnancy intentions.