Study objective: To review risk factors for rapid repeat pregnancy that have been studied among adolescents, and to determine which of these factors serve as useful predictors for second pregnancy.
Design: A Medline search of journal articles from 1966 to 1997 identified English language articles addressing repeat pregnancy among adolescents. All relevant citations within these articles were also included.
Main outcome measures: Risk factors that were correlated with rapid repeat pregnancy in studies using rigorous statistical analysis were considered to be significant.
Results: Significant predictors of rapid repeat pregnancy included younger age, low socioeconomic status, low education of teen's mother or head of household, marriage, intended or desired first pregnancy, and use of a contraceptive method other than Norplant postpartum.
Conclusions: There is little consensus as to which risk factors are the most important predictors of recidivism. With as many as half of teenage mothers conceiving again within two years, the identification of "high-risk" teens may be less important than the development of intervention strategies for all these young women.