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The Effects of Attitudes on Teenage Premarital Pregnancy and its Resolution

Robert D. Plotnick
American Sociological Review
Vol. 57, No. 6 (Dec., 1992), pp. 800-811
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096124
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Effects of Attitudes on Teenage Premarital Pregnancy and its Resolution
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Abstract

Drawing on problem behavior theory and complementary models of behavior, I examine the influence of attitudes and related personality variables on the probability of teenage premarital pregnancy and, when a pregnancy occurs, whether it is resolved by abortion, having an out-of-wedlock birth, or marrying before the birth. A sample of non-Hispanic white adolescents is drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and analyzed using the nested logit method. The estimates show that self-esteem, locus of control, attitudes toward women's family roles, attitudes toward school, educational aspirations, and religiosity are associated with premarital pregnancy and its resolution in directions predicted by theory. The effects of self-esteem, attitudes toward school, attitudes toward women's family roles, and educational expectations are substantively important. Attitudes and related personality variables are important paths through which family background characteristics influence adolescent sexual and marriage behavior.

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