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Pregnancy among Urban African-American Teens: Ambivalence about Prevention

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Objective: To develop a better understanding of the beliefs and influences that predispose teen females to early pregnancy. Methods: We conducted focus groups with 37 nonparenting, African-American females 14-17 years old recruited from an urban, hospital outpatient clinic. Results: Participants suggested that although pregnancy and parenting are best delayed until one is older, they are common, manageable experiences. Contraceptive use was deemed as important, though contraceptive options were often perceived as ineffective, unsafe, or unpleasant. Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of developing further research to understand ambivalence and interventions to address ambivalent attitudes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. 2: Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD. 3: NIHDC Initiative Pregnancy Prevention Protocol, Washington, DC. 4: formerly with Research Triangle Institute, Rockville, MD. 5: Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC. 6: Prevention Research Branch, DESPR, NICHD, NIH, Bethesda, MD.

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

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