Teenagers’ Use of Contraceptives at First Intercourse: Long-Term Trends in Use, Correlates, and Predictors for Males and Females

Joyce C. Abma, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
Brittany McGill, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC

Contraceptive use at first sex is an important indicator of protection against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teenagers. Increases over the past two decades in the percent of teens whose use contraceptives at first sex mirror declines in the pregnancy rates since 1991. This analysis uses the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth to examine contraceptive use at first sex across three cohorts of sexually experienced teenagers spanning two decades: 1982, 1992 and 2002 teen cohorts. We first examine trends in the composition of the teen population with regard to demographic and background characteristics and first-sex-circumstances, then associations of these with contraceptive use are examined for changes across time. Multivariate analysis will explore possible shifts in predictors of contraceptive use. Preliminary results show that important changes have taken place in the composition of the teen population and the influence of demographic and family background factors on contraceptive use at first sex.

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Presented in Poster Session 2