Changing Behavioral Risk for Pregnancy Among High School Students in the US (2009)


Research was done to examine behavioral trends that caused teen pregnancy and teen births to increase from 2006-2007 after a steady decline from 1991 through 2005. The research also examines what led to a steady decline for 15 years. The research examines use of contraceptive methods such as condoms, birth control pills and injections, the withdrawal method, and no method at all, and how it relates to teen pregnancy. Information is categorized by ethnicity of the teenage girl.

  • “These data suggest that contraceptive use was a key driver in changing teen pregnancy rates — with little significant change in sexual activity, except among black teens. Improvements in contraceptive use in the 1990s and early 2000s were found primarily for condom use, nonuse, and use of withdrawal.” (Santelli et al., 2009, p. 8)
  • “This study adds to the body of evidence supporting the validity of the Pregnancy Risk Index and the use of behavioral data to estimate pregnancy risk. In this study, we found that pregnancy risk correlated well with pregnancy and birth rates.” (Santelli et al., 2009, p. 8)
  • “Our finding about the importance of contraception in changing teen pregnancy risk is consistent with historical trends in teen fertility in other developed nations where teen fertility declined dramatically in the later half of the 20th century while the median age of coitus declined.” (Santelli et al., 2009, p. 9)

Citation: Santelli, J.S., Orr, M., Lindberg, L., Diaz, D.C. (2009). Changing behavioral risk for pregnancy among high school students in the United States, 1991-2007. Journal of Adolescent Health. 1-12

Link to article.

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