142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Adolescent birth: Understanding the consequences and benefits as perceived by nulliparous and parous adolescents

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Evelyn King-Marshall, PhD, MPH , Department of Behavioral Science Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Barbara Curbow, PhD , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Approximately 20% of adolescent pregnancies are planned. Although researchers have identified adolescent pregnancy risk and protective factors; there is limited insight into planned pregnancy. Utilizing explorative qualitative methods, we examined perceptions of sex, pregnancy, and teen birth among other constructs. We conducted 30 interviews and 2 focus groups with nulliparous and parous adolescents (ages 16-18 avg 17.4). Using NVIVO we conducted a thematic analysis of transcripts.  Participants were 53% AA, 66% attended HS, and 60% had one or more children. Although only one participant noted a planned pregnancy, 12/20 described ambivalent pre-pregnancy behaviors “using pills, but I wasn’t taking them like I should’ve been.”  Parenting adolescents were more likely to identify benefits to motherhood such as increased motivation, “I didn’t have anything motivating me, now I do.” Some also negated hardships, “you gonna have your work cut out, I don’t think it’s that hard.”  Most nulliparous participants couldn’t identify any substantial positive aspects of teen childbearing, but others noted possible increase in educational or personal motivation “after she had a baby, she got her GED, got into college.” Negative aspects identified by all participants included financial constraints and difficulty balancing prior responsibilities. These findings are supported in the literature and suggest standard sex-ed and increased access to birth control may have a limited effect among adolescents with ambivalent or positive feelings towards teen childbearing.  Understanding the complexities behind adolescent-maternal decision-making is a step in the right direction; however continued intervention focused on fostering positive future aspirations proves essential.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate between the perceived benefits and consequences of adolescent childbearing among nulliparous and parous adolescents.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied and worked in adolescent, maternal and child health for 6 years. Previous to my PhD, I worked as a grant funded abstinence only program manager for two counties. Additionally I have conducted and consulted on qualitative research projects for over 5 years.
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.