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Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 413–424 | Cite as

Early adult psychological consequences for males of adolescent pregnancy and its resolution

  • Mary Buchanan
  • Cynthia Robbins
Article

Abstract

Using data front 2522 young men who were first surveyed as 7th-grade students in Houston, Texas in 1971, we examined the psychological consequences in early adulthood of having a girlfriend become pregnant in adolescence. By age 21, 15% of the young men were involved in a nonmarital pregnancy. Rates were higher for blacks (24%) than for whites (12%) or Hispanics (16%). Among whites, most adolescent pregnancies were ended by abortion (58%). Adolescent pregnancies to blacks most often resulted in single parenthood (56%). Hispanics tended to have the child, and marry or live together (55%). Consistent with the life course perspective, young men involved in adolescent pregnancies were more psychologically distressed as young adults than those who did not have a girlfriend become pregnant in adolescence. The greater distress in adulthood is not simply a function of accelerated role transitions, because men whose girlfriends had abortions are also distressed, and those who let their girlfriends assume major parenting responsibility are no less distressed than those who became fathers and married or lived with their girlfriends. Subgroup comparisons revealed that psychological distress levels of young black men were not influenced by adolescent pregnancy.

Keywords

Young Adult Psychological Distress Health Psychology Single Parenthood Early Adulthood 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Buchanan
  • Cynthia Robbins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Smith HallUniversity of DelawareNewark

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