Mediators of the relationship between terminating versus continuing an unwanted pregnancy and subsequent alcohol use
Methods: Data are from the U.S. Turnaway Study, a prospective, longitudinal study of 956 women who sought to terminate pregnancies at 30 facilities across the U.S., some of whom received and some of whom were denied terminations. This study examined whether stress, negative and positive emotions about the pregnancy, and number of social roles at one week and two years after termination seeking mediated relationships between receiving versus being denied a termination and alcohol use at six months and 2.5 years after termination seeking. Mediation was assessed using methods described by MacKinnon.
Results: We found evidence of mediation for negative emotions at one week and any alcohol use, but not binge drinking, at six months. We did not find evidence of mediation for negative emotions at two years. We found evidence of mediation for positive emotions at one week and any alcohol use and binge drinking at six months. We found evidence of mediation for positive emotions at two years and any alcohol use, but not binge drinking, at 2.5 years. We did not find evidence of mediation for stress or number of social roles.
Conclusions: Higher levels of binge drinking among those who terminate versus continue unwanted pregnancies do not appear to be due to stress or to negative emotions resulting from the termination.
Learning Areas:Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the relationship between pregnancy termination and subsequent alcohol use. Explain that neither negative emotions nor stress mediate the relationship between pregnancy termination and subsequent binge drinking Discuss reasons why women who carry unwanted pregnancies to term drink less alcohol over time than women who terminate pregnancies
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use, Abortion
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of a grant to study alcohol use among women with unwanted pregnancies. I have published more than 25 papers on the topics of alcohol and drug use among women as well as on women's experiences with pregnancy termination.
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.