Factors associated with the occurrence of teenage pregnancy among Puerto Rican females

Miriam Sotomayor, Fordham University

Abstract

This research is a secondary analysis data of some of a longitudinal data on drop out, delinquency, premarital sex and pregnancy among a sample of 505 pairs of Puerto Rican parent-youth. These data were collected from 1980 to 1985 by Gutierrez and his associates for ASPIRA, Inc. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A subsample of 162 females, who participated in the first and fourth interviews, was selected to conduct this secondary analysis.^ The purpose of this study is to assess the most powerful factors associated with the occurrence of adolescent pregnancy among Puerto Rican females. To accomplish this, several aims were established: (1) to present a descriptive portrait of the characteristics of the sample; (2) to assess the similarities and differences in characteristics among pregnant, never pregnant and virgin Puerto Rican adolescents; and (3) to determine the relationship between personal, familial and socio-environmental factors and the occurrence of teenage pregnancy through the formulation and testing of several hypotheses. To perform these objectives, measures of association, tests of significance, and multivariate analysis techniques were employed.^ Based on these research findings, the adolescents' personal characteristics, their natural family characteristics, their peers' characteristics, and their cultural beliefs on premarital sex were portrayed. Profiles of those adolescents who were pregnant, never pregnant and virgin were depicted showing the similarities and differences in their characteristics. Those factors associated with the occurrence of teenage pregnancy were: low educational aspirations ($\le$high school), initiating sex at a very young age ($\le$16), non-use of birth control at first intercourse, mother's unemployment, and having few good friends who were non-Hispanic. According to multiple regression analyses, the most powerful predictors of teenage pregnancy among Puerto Rican women were: age at first intercourse and number of good friends who were non-Hispanic. Twenty-two (22) percent of the variation in teenage pregnancy was explained by variation in these two predictors. The implications of these findings for the provision of preventive services and for research were discussed. Recommendations were also made about them. ^

Subject Area

Social Work|Women's Studies|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Miriam Sotomayor, "Factors associated with the occurrence of teenage pregnancy among Puerto Rican females" (January 1, 1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9717542.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9717542

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