Adolescent Dual Method Use: Relevant Attitudes, Normative Beliefs and Self-Efficacy

Renee E. Sieving, Linda H. Bearinger, Michael D. Resnick, Sandra Pettingell, Carol Skay

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57 Scopus citations


Purpose: To encourage dual contraceptive method use-protection from both STD and pregnancy-health behavior change efforts must target powerful risk and protective factors that are amenable to change. This study examines longitudinal relationships between adolescents' contraceptive-related cognitions and dual method use. Methods: Data are from 1123 sexually active 7-11th-grade participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Waves 1 and 2 (W1, W2). A series of nested path models examined relationships between participants' contraceptive use level at most recent intercourse (zero, one, two methods) and contraceptive-related cognitions. Parallel analyses were completed with four grade/gender groups. Results: Dual method use at most recent intercourse ranged from 14.3% to 25.0%. Path models suggested that contraceptive use levels and contraceptive-related cognitions were moderately stable over time. Cross-sectionally, contraceptive use level was associated with parent approval of birth control (older youth, younger girls), birth control attitudes (older youth, younger boys), perceived pregnancy consequences (older youth), perceived sexually transmitted disease risk (older girls), perceived benefits of sex (younger girls), and contraceptive self-efficacy (older youth). W1 father approval of birth control (younger girls), mother disapproval of sex (older girls), and birth control attitudes (older boys) predicted W2 contraceptive use levels. W1 contraceptive use levels predicted several W2 cognitions among older youth. Conclusions: Sexually active adolescents' perceptions of parent expectations about sex and contraception have important links to dual method use. Adolescents' attitudes about practical, social, and moral implications of using birth control are also linked to their use of dual contraceptive methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275.e15-275.e22
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by grants from NICHD (1R01 HD36868-01; Bearinger, PI), and from the CDC to the Healthy Youth Development - Prevention Research Center (#1-U48-DP-000063; Resnick, PI). This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from NICHD, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining data files from Add Health should contact Add Health, Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524. ( ).


  • Adolescents
  • Contraceptive attitudes and beliefs
  • Dual method use
  • Path models


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