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Adolescence, Pregnancy in adolescence, Pregnancy, unwanted, Pregnancy tests



  1. Bloom, Kathaleen C. PhD, CNM
  2. Hall, Debbie S. MS, CNM


Purpose: To explore and describe dimensions of pregnancy wantedness in adolescents who present for pregnancy testing.


Design: Descriptive survey.


Methods: Adolescents presenting for pregnancy testing at a multiservice teen center were invited to participate by completing the Pregnancy Importance Questionnaire while awaiting the results of their pregnancy test. Eighty-nine adolescents responded to questions concerning their desire for pregnancy, knowledge and access to birth control information and supplies, and expectations of how a pregnancy would change their lives.


Results: Approximately 7% wanted the pregnancy test to be positive, 60% wanted it to be negative, and 33% were not sure. There was a moderately low (1.97 out of 5) desire for pregnancy, a moderately high (3.11 out of 5) knowledge of and access to birth control, and moderately low (2.08 out of 5) expected changes with a pregnancy. There were no differences in these dimensions by age group (early, middle, and late adolescence).


Clinical Implications: All clinicians working with adolescents should explore sexual risk-taking and pregnancy prevention measures among these clients. Appropriate counseling and follow-up is necessary for adolescents who present for pregnancy testing, whether the pregnancy test is positive or negative.