Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Relationship between Self-Evaluations and the Likelihood of Adolescent Pregnancy

Sarah M. Kendig, University of Maryland

This paper examines racial/ethnic differences in the relationship between adolescent girls’ self-evaluations and their likelihood of pregnancy. Utilizing the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADDHealth), this study analyzes the influence of efficacy, mattering, and educational expectations and aspirations on the likelihood of having ever been pregnant among 3,312 non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic adolescent girls. Previous studies have hypothesized that non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic adolescent girls’ higher rates of pregnancy may be partially attributed to their negative self-evaluations, since positive self-evaluations are generally negatively related to pregnancy. However, some research has found that Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black adolescent girls have more positive or equal self-evaluations when compared to their white counterparts, indicating that either self-evaluations are unrelated to pregnancy or operate differently for non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic girls. Preliminary findings indicate that the relationship between self-evaluations and the likelihood of having ever been pregnant operates differently by race/ethnicity.

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Presented in Poster Session 1