Social and environmental factors influencing contraceptive use among black adolescents

D. P. Hogan, N. M. Astone, E. M. Kitagawa

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79 Scopus citations


A 1979 survey among sexually active unmarried black adolescents from Chicago found that 28 percent of the young women and 18 percent of the young men used a contraceptive at first intercourse. Statistically significant differences in such contraceptive use among teenage women were found for three social and environmental characteristics: social class, parents' marital status and neighborhood quality. Thus, 41 percent of the young women from the highest social class used contraceptives at first intercourse, but only 17 percent of those from the lowest class did so. The proportions were 35 percent for young women from neighborhoods of high socioeconomic status and 17 percent for those from ghetto neighborhoods. Thirty-six percent of teenage women whose parents had intact marriages as of the adolescent's 11th birthday used contraceptives at first intercourse, compared with 23 percent of those from single-parent and divorced families. Among males, social class was the only one of these three characteristics that was statistically significant; 32 percent of adolescents from the highest class and 11 percent from the lowest practiced contraception at first intercourse. For teenagers of both sexes, career aspirations were of marginal statistical significance in the practice of contraception. Thirty-six percent of young women with high aspirations used contraceptives at first intercourse and 19 percent of those with low aspirations did so. Only four percent of the young men with low career aspirations used contraceptives, compared with 25 percent of those with high aspirations. Number of siblings, parental supervision of dating and having a sister who had become a teenage mother showed no association with contraceptive use. Twenty-five percent of the teenage women who did not practice contraception the first time they had intercourse did so the second time, and 47 percent of those who did not practice contraception the second time were practicing by the time of most recent intercourse. Sixty-three percent of the sexually active young black women in this sample reported having used a method at most recent intercourse. However, social and environmental variables were found to affect contraceptive preparedness at first intercourse only, and not subsequent initiation of contraceptive practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
JournalFamily Planning Perspectives
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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