The research will examine adolescent decision making regarding contraceptive use and the relationships among beliefs, intentions, and behavior. Five hundred patients at several adolescent medicine clinics will be interveiwed. They will complete a questionnaire of their beliefs and values about the consequences of, attitude toward, perceptions of normative expectations regarding, and intention to use each of six methods of contraception in the next year, to become pregnant (or, for boys, to get a girl pregnant), and to have an abortion (or have the girl get an abortion) if conception occurs. They will also complete a demographic background sheet, a Future Events Test, Rosenberg;s Self-Esteem scale, and a sexual and contraceptive history. The respondents will be followed one year later to determine whether or not they were sexually active in the preceding year, and, if so, what their contraceptive behavior was. This will be related to their intentions and to the psycho-social variables that are hypothesized to mediate their relationship between intention and behavior. Separate comparisons will be made for adolescents who were or were not sexually active at the initial interview. The purposes of the research are to test the applicability of a decision model for understanding adolescent contraceptive behavior, evaluate the efficacy of an expanded version of Fishbein's model, and to discover predictors of contraceptive intention and behavior. Beyond theoretical interest in the utility of the model, the research should be of applied value in identifying beliefs that are associated with varying contraceptive intentions and behaviors. This information could be used in designing programs to reduce the incidence of adolescent pregnancy.
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