The Relationship of Childhood Sexual Abuse to Teenage Pregnancy

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Research Article Review

The Relationship of Childhood Sexual Abuse to Teenage Pregnancy

Ashlee L. Glover

Lindenwood University

The Relationship of Childhood Sexual Abuse to Teenage Pregnancy

I. Questions and Answers

1. “The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy” (Roosa, Tein, Reinholtz, & Angelini, 1997).

2. “Three research questions guided this effort. First, do women who were sexually abused as children and women who had teenage pregnancy have similar developmental backgrounds (sociodemographic and risk factor profiles)? Second, does the risk for teenage pregnancy differ, based on whether a woman was sexually abused as a child, sexually precocious, or both? Third, does childhood sexual abuse contribute to an increased risk of having a teenage pregnancy after the influence of other factors related to teenage pregnancy (e.g., social class) have been accounted for” (Roosa et al., 1997)?

3. “We expect victims of sexual abuse to have first voluntary coitus earlier, to be less likely to use contraception, to be more likely to participate in high-risk sexual behaviors (e.g., sex with strangers), and to have a higher number of sexual partners than their peers who were not sexually abused” (Roosa et al., 1997).

4. The variables being studied is sexual history, High-risk sexual behavior, Sexual abuse, Sexual history pathways, childhood physical abuse, and High-risk behaviors. (Roosa et al., 1997).

5. The participants were 2,003 women, 18 to 22 years old, living in Arizona. (Roosa et al., 1997).

6. “Participants completed the questionnaire alone or in groups. They recorded their responses on computer-scored answer sheets to ease data entry and minimize errors. After completing the questionnaire, a participant placed her answer sheet in an envelope, sealed the envelope, and gave it to either the project manager or agency representative” (Roosa et al., 1997).

7. “We used chi-square and analysis of variance to compare sociodemographic and risk factor profiles of (a) women who were sexually abused as children with their non-abused peers and (b) women who had teenage pregnancy with those who did not. Next, we compared the incidence of teenage pregnancy for five sexual history pathways using chi-square. Finally, we used logistic regression to determine whether experiences of childhood sexual abuse contributed to risk for teenage pregnancy after the influences of other variables had been accounted for” (Roosa et al., 1997).

8. “The results of our study do not support arguments that sexual abuse is a major contributor to the risk for teenage pregnancy” (Roosa et al., 1997).

9. The importance of the findings is that childhood sexual abuse contributed little to the likelihood of teenage pregnancy. The severity of sexual abuse was not significantly related to teenage pregnancy. Sexual abuse followed by sexual precocity was related to a higher risk of teenage pregnancy for some. (Roosa et al., 1997).

10. The results were limited by two methodological factors. “First, the sample, although large, was a sample of convenience from a single state, and participants were slightly more educated than the average for this cohort. Second, this was a cross-sectional study that relied on the recall of events that occurred several necessary years prior to the survey” (Roosa et al., 1997).

11. “It may be important for future studies to identify factors that explain the risk associated with sexual abuse for these subgroups” (Roosa et al., 1997). It was also stated that in the future longitudinal studies are necessary to establish causality. (Roosa et al., 1997).

II. Summary

The United States has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy with about 25 percent of all U.S. women having a pregnancy by the age of 18 (Roosa et al., 1997). The purpose of this study...
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