Influence of psychosocial factors on adolescent compliance with oral contraceptives

J Adolesc Health Care. 1984 Jan;5(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/s0197-0070(84)80237-5.


This paper prospectively tests the influence of a variety of sociomedical and psychosocial factors on compliance with oral contraceptives among adolescent females from a population at high risk for pregnancy. Fifty-six females aged 14-19 yr from a lower socioeconomic background received a battery of pretest measurements and were then given Ortho-Novum 1/35 combined with riboflavin during an initial visit and 1-, 2-, and 4-month follow-ups. Compliance was measured at each follow-up using a Guttman scale consisting of: (1) avoidance of pregnancy, (2) appointment adherence, (3) pill count, and (4) urinary fluorescence for riboflavin. Six factors were found to be significantly associated with noncompliance: (1) multiple sexual partners, (2) appointment being made by the adolescent, (3) low evaluation of personal health, (4) feelings of hopelessness, (5) worry about becoming pregnant, and (6) previous abortion. These findings suggest that certain indicators of sexual activity and social psychological status may help predict noncompliance in some adolescent females.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Contraceptives, Oral / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Mestranol / administration & dosage*
  • Norethindrone / administration & dosage*
  • Norethindrone / blood
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic Factors*


  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Synthetic
  • Drug Combinations
  • Norinyl
  • Mestranol
  • Norethindrone