Global Perspectives on Teenage Pregnancy: Measuring Risky Behaviors, Abstinence Attitudes and Behaviors and Parent-Teen Communication Using the Adolescent Family Life Core Instrument

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 11:40 AM

Kathleen A. Sternas, PhD, RN1
Mary Ann Scharf, EdD1
Janet Summerly, BSN, MSN, RN1
Wendiann Sethi, MS2
RoseMarie Peterkin, MAT3
1College of Nursing, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
2Department of Mathematics, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
3Newark Best Friends and Best Men, Friends and Families United, Inc, Newark, NJ

Learning Objective 1: Identify global adolescent pregnancy trends and interventions to reduce risky behaviors and prevent teenage pregnancy reported in the national and international research literature.

Learning Objective 2: Describe a new instrument to measure risky behaviors, abstinence attitudes/behaviors and parent–teen communication for use with teenagers.

Purpose: Teenage birth rates are higher in the USA than England, Wales,Australia, and Canada. High rates of risky behaviors exist among Newark teenagers including drug/alcohol use, sexual activity leading to STD's/HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy which affect health. This presentation describes: global perspectives on teenage pregnancy and interventions to reduce risky behaviors/teenage pregnancy; the AFL instrument, its factor structure utilizing longitudinal research on teenagers in an evidenced-based intervention that promotes abstinence from drinking/drugs/sex and parent-teen communication; intervention and comparison participant outcomes. Bandura's Social Learning and Piaget's theories guided the intervention on sexuality discussions, mentoring, health/fitness classes, cultural events, community service, and recognition.
Methods: Pretest post-test design. Four intervention/five comparison schools participated (N=4076). Intervention participants were randomly selected. Comparison participants were a convenience sample. Intervention/ comparison schools were matched on demographic variables. Instruments: AFL Core and Demographic Questionnaires. Factor Analysis, t-tests, ANOVA, .05 level of significance were used. 

Results: Seven factors were identified: Abstinence(Cronbach’s alpha 0.827), Negative Effects of Teen Sex(Cronbach’s alpha, 0.791), Male Parental Interaction(Cronbach’s alpha, 0.782), Talk to Parent(Cronbach’s alpha, 0.779), Teens Future Perceptions(Cronbach’s alpha, 0.774), Use of Drugs/Alcohol(Cronbach’s alpha, 0.72), Female Parental Interaction(Cronbach’s alpha, 0.677). Intervention group scored higher than comparison group on Abstinence (t=13.161, p=<.001),Female Parental Interaction (t= 2.549, p=.011), Future Perceptions (t=3.645, p<.001), Negative Effects of Teen Sex (t=4.774, p<.001) and lower on Drug/Alcohol Use(t=-9.372, p<.001). Intervention  group was significantly different on pre-posttest scores for Female Parental Interaction (2.881,p=.004), Talk to Parent( -2.203, p=.028). Comparison group had different pre-posttest scores for Drug/Alcohol Use(-2.934, p=.003), Future Perceptions (3.747, p<.001).

Conclusion: Intervention participants have more significant outcomes related to abstinence behaviors/attitudes than comparison participants. Findings suggest the intervention promotes abstinence, reduces risky behaviors which help prevent teenage pregnancy and health problems. Findings have implications for interventions to prevent teenage pregnancy by fostering abstinence attitudes/behaviors and reducing risky behaviors.