Adolescent pregnancy in New Zealand : an exploratory study (1995)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
The present study investigates the relationship between adolescent pregnancy and demographic characteristics, self esteem, alcohol use and attachment styles in romantic relationships, and explores the links between these three variables. The 14 participants in the pregnant group were recruited from seven agencies which provide services for pregnant adolescents. The 35 participants in the control group were female students attending a Christchurch secondary school. For many of the analyses these subjects were divided into two groups based on whether they are sexually active or not.
Results showed that non-pregnant participants used contraception more frequently that pregnant subjects, sexually active participants drank more alcohol that non-sexually active subjects, and that paticipants with low self esteem were more likely to be insecurely attached and to use alcohol. These results were consistent with past research from New Zealand and overseas regarding contraceptive use and alcohol use, and which has established that adolescent problem behaviours are interrelated.
The results of the present study demonstrate the need for prevention programmes to address alcohol use and contraceptive issues. Despite the insignificant findings regarding self esteem and attachment styles, it is also considered important that these issues are included in prevention programmes, as adolescent self esteem is lower than in the adult population, and more adolescents in the present study were. found to be insecurely attached in their romantic relationships in comparison with adult samples. Therefore the present study lends support to the broad-based model being used in contemporary prevention programmes.
Future research should build on many of the issues raised in the present study, such as the relationship between adolescent pregnancy and sexual abuse, and age of first intercourse. It is also suggested that empowerment or assertiveness be measured instead of self esteem.
KeywordsTeenage pregnancy--New Zealand; Teenage pregnancy--New Zealand--Prevention; Teenagers--New Zealand--Sexual behavior; Interpersonal relations in adolescence--New Zealand; Self-esteem in adolescence--New Zealand; Attachment behavior; Drugs and sex--New Zealand
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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