Self-Esteem, Attitudes toward Love, and Sexual Assertiveness among Pregnant Adolescents

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jan 31;18(3):1270. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18031270.


Adolescence is a stage of growth and development of great relevance. Unplanned teenage pregnancies can be considered a global public health problem due to the high impact on the present and future of these young people, as well as their possible offspring. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between self-esteem, attitudes toward love, and sexual assertiveness among pregnant and non-pregnant teenagers. We also considered whether their pregnancy was planned or not. The study was conducted with 225 women from Ecuador (34.2% pregnant; Mean age = 16; SD = 1.15). We administered self-reported measures such as the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Love Attitudes Scale, and the Sexual Assertiveness Scale between 2018 and 2019. Self-esteem was higher in adolescents with a planned pregnancy than in those women whose pregnancy was not planned. Pregnant women reported greater acceptance and endorsement of beliefs related to the myth of "soulmate" in comparison to non-pregnant women. Sexual assertiveness related to the negotiation of the use of contraceptive methods was greater in non-pregnant adolescents than in pregnant girls. We discuss the implications of our findings in terms of sexual education and prevention in the sex education field. This study shows differences in self-esteem, attitudes toward love, and sexual assertiveness between pregnant and non-pregnant adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent; attitudes toward love; pregnancy; self-esteem; sexual assertiveness.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Assertiveness*
  • Attitude
  • Ecuador
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Love
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence*
  • Pregnant Women
  • Sexual Behavior