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Creating Consistency and Control Out of Chaos: A Qualitative View of Planned Pregnancy during Adolescence

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Adolescent pregnancy can have devastating effects for both mother and child. However, little is known about the experience of planned pregnancy among adolescents. This paper presents an in-depth analysis of themes identified in a previous study of the experience of planned adolescent pregnancy. The experience of planning a pregnancy during adolescence consists of typical adolescent behavior in that these girls demonstrated the need for control, invulnerability, and a present focus to their lives. In addition to this typical behavior, a component manifests itself in which adolescent girls make reproductive health choices to gain control. By establishing a level of control over their hectic and stressful lives, they are able to add meaning to their lives. The need for consistency and control seem to be linked, because many of the adolescent girls' statements reflected dimensions of both concepts. This initial, descriptive study can be used to further explore adolescent pregnancy and to develop interventions that might assist these girls to lead healthy lives.

Keywords: adolescent pregnancy; childbirth education

Document Type: Standard Article


Affiliations: KRISTEN MONTGOMERY serves on the faculty in the School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin.

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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