Purpose To compare social and emotional adjustment including educational attainment and substance use in women who had a child, pregnancy termination, or miscarriage by young adulthood. Methods Data were from a population-based longitudinal study of the health and well-being of 1,943 young Australians (Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study) followed from 15 to 24 years of age. The sample was restricted to female participants and based on pregnancies reported by age 24 years. Analyses were adjusted for early teenage depressive symptoms, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, cannabis use, and parent socioeconomic context. Results A total of 208 pregnancies (in 170 women) were reported from a sample of 824 young women by 24 years of age. Compared with those who had never been pregnant, those who had a child had lower tertiary education completion and a higher risk of nicotine dependence; those who terminated a pregnancy were more commonly single and had a higher risk of smoking and alcohol use as well as nicotine and alcohol dependence; and those who had a miscarriage had a higher risk of depressive symptomatology and binge drinking as well as nicotine and cannabis dependence. Conclusions Young women who have been pregnant by their mid-twenties report a range of difficulties in social and emotional adjustment that vary across the different pregnancy outcomes. Broad-based psychosocial health care is essential not only for young women whose pregnancies proceed to live birth, but also for those whose pregnancies end with miscarriage or induced abortion.
- Psychosocial well-being
- Substance use