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Keywords

Prenatal care, Adolescence, Domestic Abuse

 

Authors

  1. CURRY, MARY ANN DNSC, RN, FAAN
  2. DOYLE, BETH A. MS, RN, WHCNP
  3. GILHOOLEY, JENNIFER MS, RN, PNP

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the incidence of abuse among pregnant teens in the three developmental stages of adolescence and to determine if abuse was related to pregnancy planning, high school participation, substance use during pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and infant birth weight.

 

Design: Prospective survey.

 

Methods: A total of 559 pregnant adolescents between the ages of 13 and 19 were interviewed. Abuse was measured by the Abuse Assessment Screen. Substance use was measured by self-report. Birth weights were obtained from hospital records.

 

Results: Abuse was reported by 37% of the adolescents. In every age group, the incidence of low birth weight was higher in those who had been abused.

 

Clinical Implications: The high rates of abuse reported by both adolescent and adult women in this study emphasize the need for nurses in every setting to incorporate routine screening for abuse into their nursing assessments.