To whom do inner-city minors talk about their pregnancies? Adolescents' communication with parents and parent surrogates

L. S. Zabin, M. B. Hirsch, Mark Ross Emerson, E. Raymond

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A study of 334 black, urban teenagers who sought pregnancy tests in two Baltimore clinics in 1985-1986 explored communication between the teenagers and their parents or parent surrogates before the pregnancy test visit and, among those whose test results were positive, before the final pregnancy outcome decision. Of these young women, 66% had discussed the possibility that they were pregnant with a parent (usually the mother) or parent surrogate before the test; an additional 6% had turned to another adult. At a follow-up interview a year later, 91% of those whose test results had been positive reported that they had consulted a parent or parent surrogate before deciding what to do about the pregnancy, and 4% had confided in another adult. The probability that an adolescent would consult a parent before deciding what to do about her pregnancy was higher if she was younger, if she lived with the parent and if she found the parent easy to talk to. A year after the pregnancy test, 88% of the adolescents who had given birth or had had an abortion were satisfied with their pregnancy outcome. Satisfaction was not related to whether the young woman had discussed her decision with a parent. Dissatisfaction was most likely if the parent did not support the final outcome, if someone other than the young woman had made the final decision, or if the final outcome was different from the adolescent's preference at the time of the pregnancy test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Planning Perspectives
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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