Brief report: Pregnant by age 15 years and substance use initiation among US adolescent girls

J Adolesc. 2012 Oct;35(5):1393-7. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 May 3.


We examined substance use onset and associations with pregnancy by age 15 years. Participants were girls ages 15 years or younger (weighted n = 8319) from the 1999-2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS). Multivariable logistic regression examined pregnancy as a function of substance use onset (i.e., age 10 years or younger, 11-12, 13-14, and age 15 years) for alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana, controlling for race/ethnicity and metropolitan location. Of girls pregnant by age 15 years (3% of the sample, weighted n = 243), 16% had smoked marijuana by age 10 years and over 20% had smoked cigarettes and initiated alcohol use by age 10 years. In the multivariable analysis, marijuana use by age 14 years and/or cigarette smoking by age 12 years clearly distinguished girls who became pregnant by age 15 years and is perhaps due to a common underlying risk factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • United States