248051 Disparities within the college community: Comparisons of unintended pregnancy and contraceptive use among unmarried sexually active female college students in the US

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lisa L. Lindley, DrPH, MPH, CHES , Department of Global and Community Health, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Lucy Annang, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Two-thirds of teen pregnancies occur to older teens (aged 18-19 years) and the highest rates of unintended pregnancies occur among young adult women (aged 20-24 years) in the U.S. We conducted a secondary analysis of the National College Health Assessment (Spring 2006) data to: 1) determine whether differences existed in unintended pregnancies and the use of contraceptive methods among unmarried, sexually active female college students, aged 18-24 years, attending four-year institutions in the U.S. (n=22,939) by race/ethnicity; and 2) identify factors associated with having an unintended pregnancy among this population. The percent of unmarried sexually active female college students who reported an unintended pregnancy in the past year was 1.8%. However, significant differences were reported by race/ethnicity; with 1.4% of White students, 5.8% of Black, 2.8% of Hispanic, and 1.6% of Asian/Pacific Islander students reporting an unintended pregnancy in the past year. Significant differences by race/ethnicity were also reported in the use of different pregnancy prevention methods (birth control pills, condoms, withdrawal, and nothing) at last vaginal intercourse and in the use of emergency contraceptive pills during the last year. In multivariate analyses, race/ethnicity, use/non-use of contraceptive methods, grade average, health insurance status, relationship status, being in a physically abusive relationship, and having unprotected sex as a consequence of drinking alcohol during the past year were significantly associated with an unintended pregnancy (all p<.05). These results may be useful to college health professionals providing contraceptive/pregnancy prevention education and/or reproductive health services to diverse populations of college women.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify differences in types of contraceptive methods used by White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander female college students. Compare the percentage of unmarried female college students who experienced an unintended pregnancy during the past year by race/ethnicity. Describe factors significantly associated with an unintended pregnancy among unmarried sexually active female college students.

Keywords: Contraceptives, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach and conduct research in sexual and reproductive health
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.