Predicting risk for pregnancy by late adolescence: a social contextual perspective

Dev Psychol. 1998 Nov;34(6):1233-45. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.34.6.1233.


To evaluate a model of social contextual influences on risk for adolescent pregnancy, 368 target adolescents (52% female, 48% male) and their mothers, fathers, and closest age siblings were assessed 6 times over a 7-year period beginning when the target adolescents were in 7th grade. Two pathways were found to increase risk for involvement in a pregnancy by late adolescence. Middle adolescent risk-taking behavior mediated the influence of early adolescent parental warmth-involvement and deviant-peer affiliations on involvement in a pregnancy by 12th grade. Also, early adolescent academic competence mediated the relationship between parental warmth-involvement and involvement in a pregnancy by 12th grade. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intergenerational Relations*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • Risk-Taking