Article Title

Factors that adolescent males take into account in decisions about an unplanned pregnancy

Abstract

Little is known about what factors adolescent males consider important when making decisions concerning the resolution of an unplanned pregnancy with a teenage partner. Young men's influence on pregnancy outcome decisions can play an important part in the subsequent psychological adjustment of the female. The present report draws on data from a larger study with teenage males [Condon, J. T., Corkindale, C. J., Russell, A., & Quinlivan, J. A., 'Processes and factors underlying adolescent males' attitudes and decision-making in relation to an unplanned pregnancy', Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 35, 2008, p. 447–458], and extends the findings of that study.

Using a 25-item scale embedded in an electronic role-play, data were obtained from 330 male Australian school students on their priorities and concerns in relation to possible outcomes of a partner's pregnancy. Common factors taken into account by almost the entire adolescent sample related to the negative effects of becoming a teenage father. The differences between participants were identified using cluster analysis, which produced three groupings. The majority group was characterised as ‘well-balanced’ (80.6%), and the two minority groups as ‘unwilling/unready’ (10.9%) and ‘family-centred’ (8.5%). Group membership was strongly predictive of the males' final decision regarding the hypothetical pregnancy outcome. Understanding adolescent attitudes and beliefs when faced with this decision may assist practitioners in their guidance of the young couple and help prevent negative psychological sequelae.

Keywords

peer-reviewed, decision-making, electronic simulation

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Link to Publisher Version (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.08.008