Associations of adolescent hopelessness and self-worth with pregnancy attempts and pregnancy desire

Anna R. Fedorowicz, Wendy L Hellerstedt, Pamela J Schreiner, John M. Bolland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined the associations of pregnancy desire (ambivalence or happiness about a pregnancy in the next year) and recent pregnancy attempts with hopelessness and self-worth among low-income adolescents. Methods. To evaluate independent associations among the study variables, we conducted gender-stratified multivariable logistic regression analyses with data derived from 2285 sexually experienced 9-to 18-year-old participants in the Mobile Youth Survey between 2006 and 2009. Results. Fifty-seven percent of youths reported a desire for pregnancy and 9% reported pregnancy attempts. In multivariable analyses, hopelessness was positively associated and self-worth was negatively associated with pregnancy attempts among both female and male youths. Hopelessness was weakly associated (P = .05) with pregnancy desire among female youths. Conclusions. The negative association of self-worth and the positive association of hopelessness with pregnancy attempts among young men as well as young women and the association of hopelessness with pregnancy desire among young women raise questions about why pregnancy is apparently valued by youths who rate their social and cognitive competence as low and who live in an environment with few options for material success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e133-e140
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


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