, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 409–429 | Cite as

Drug use as a risk factor for premarital teen pregnancy and abortion in a National Sample of Young White Women

  • Barbara Mensch
  • Denise B. Kandel
Teenage reproduction


The relationship between adolescent drug use and premarital teen pregnancy and abortion as a pregnancy outcome among sexually active women is investigated in a sample of white women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Event history analysis is used to explore whether prior drug use has a unique effect on premarital teen pregnancy, with controls for personality, lifestyle, and biological factors. Logistic regression is used to estimate whether drug use affects the decision to terminate a premarital teen pregnancy. The results show that the risk of premarital teen pregnancy is nearly four times as high for those who have used illicit drugs other than marijuana as for those with no history of any prior substance involvement. Furthermore, illicit drug use increases the likelihood of an abortion by a factor of 5. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.


Illicit Drug Teen Pregnancy National Longitudinal Survey Educational Expectation Event History Analysis 
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

© Population Association of America 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Mensch
    • 1
  • Denise B. Kandel
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.The Population CouncilNew York
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew York
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and School of Public HealthNew York State Psychiatric InstituteNew York

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