Contraceptive behavior among sexually active Hispanic adolescents

Robert H. Durant, Carolyn Seymore, Robert Pendergrast, Rebecca Beckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine those factors associated with the contraceptive behavior of a national representative sample of Hispanic female adolescents. The subjects included all (n = 85) unmarried, sexually active Hispanic women, aged 15 to 19, from the 1982 National Survey of Family Growth. Contraceptive behavior was measured on a normalized scale, ranging from oral contraceptives to no contraception. Mexican/American and Central/South American background females were more likely (p < 0.031) to use effective birth control than Puerto Rican, Cuban, and other Hispanic background subjects. Twenty additional social, behavioral, and demographic variables were found to be significantly associated (p < 0.05) with contraceptive behavior. Based on multiple regression analysis, seven of these variables were found to explain 62% (p < 0.0001) of the variation in the contraceptive behavior of this sample. Poorer contraceptive behavior was associated with noncompliance with the initial birth control method used (33.8%), lower coital frequency (8.3%), older postmenarchial age (5.7%), failure to use birth control at first coitus (4.6%), fewer years dating (4.0%), lower frequency of church attendance (3.3%), and never having experienced a pregnancy scare (2.0%). These findings suggest that the contraceptive behavior of Hispanic female adolescents is a dynamic process that can be understood in the context of previous sexual and contraceptive behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-496
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1990


  • Contraceptive behavior Church attendance Sexual behavior DuRant's model of contraceptive Hispanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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