Objectives.This study characterized changes in sexual and reproductive behaviors from 1985 through 1995 among American females aged 15 to 19 years and related these changes to family factors.
Methods. Nationally representative sample survey data from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth were analyzed with Weibull hazards models of age at first intercourse and first pregnancy and with logistic regression models of contraceptive use at first intercourse and pregnancy outcome.
Results. Improvements in the family socioeconomic situations of young women have lessened the risk of teen motherhood, while changes in family structure have increased the risk.Young women whose parents have more than a high school education,who live with both parents, and who attend church delay the timing of first sexual intercourse and are more likely to use a contraceptive.
Conclusions. The trend of increases in teenage motherhood has ended owing to a halt in increases in the proportion of sexually active young women and substantial improvement in contraception, with the greatest improvements among those from advantageous family situations.