Subsequent risk of childbearing among adolescents with a negative pregnancy test

L. S. Zabin, V. Sedivy, M. R. Emerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Adolescents aged 17 and younger who came for pregnancy tests at either of two clinics in Baltimore were interviewed at length and followed for two years; those whose tests were negative were compared with both the childbirth and abortion subgroups. The respondents' characteristics at baseline suggest that the risk of unintended pregnancy is high among those in the negative-test group; for example, they initiate intercourse earlier and are exposed to the risk of pregnancy for longer than the other subgroups. The negative-test group's risk is confirmed by their subsequent experiences: They are much more likely to carry a pregnancy to term in the 18 months subsequent to the test than are the other two groups in the 18 months following their birth or their abortion; those in the negative-test group are also significantly less likely than the others to practice contraception always or most of the time. Since large proportions of pregnancy tests are negative, there is considerable potential for preventive counseling at the time of a negative pregnancy test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Planning Perspectives
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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