206550 Relationship between Internal Conflict about Sexual Preference and Pregnancy Intention among Impoverished Adolescents

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:55 PM

Alexis Magdalene Inabinet, MA , Medical Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
John Bolland, PhD , College of Human & Environmental Services, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Maja Altarac, MD, MPH, PHD , Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birimingham, AL
T. Mark Beasley, PhD , Department of Biostatistics, Univeristy of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Background: Homosexual adolescents are arguably at the greatest risk for impaired emotional, social and physical health, and these risks are only exacerbated for those living in poverty. Increased understanding of adolescent concern regarding sexual preference and subsequent risky behavior is the first step towards decreasing negative health outcomes.

Methods: The Mobile Youth Survey (MYS) is a community research project designed to determine decision making and subsequent health risk among impoverished adolescents. The responses of 2284 adolescents that participated in the 2006 wave of the MYS were analyzed in order to identify if there is an association between internal conflict regarding sexual preference and pregnancy intention.

Results: Preliminary results indicated that one-fifth of adolescents (22%, N=509) reported that they worry “some” or “very much” about whether they are gay or straight. Adolescents that reported that they worry about whether they are gay or straight were almost 1.5 times more likely to also report currently trying to get pregnant or trying to get someone else pregnant than those that denied concern about sexual preference (OR=1.45, 95% CI=1.01, 2.09). There was no statistically significant relationship between reported concern about sexual preference and history of being pregnant or getting someone pregnant. Age and gender will be included as covariates for the final project.

Conclusions: Adolescents who worry about their sexual preference are more likely to report risky sexual behavior. Providing conflicted youth with healthier outlets for demonstrating gender roles and/or reducing internal conflict regarding sexual preference may reduce teen pregnancy rates among impoverished communities.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the prevalence of adolescents among impoverished communities that are concerned about their sexual preference. Describe how worry about sexual preference relates to trying to get pregnant or trying to get someone else pregnant. Discuss how reducing internal conflict about sexual preference could decrease teen pregnancy.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Teen Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a masters in medical psychology and am completing dissertation work for my doctorate through the UAB Medical/Clinical Psychology PhD Program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.