Social, cognitive, and attitudinal influences on birth control use among adolescents

Heather R Rodriguez, Purdue University


This study examines birth control use at first and most recent sexual encounter among adolescents. The research is framed by social cognitive theory. Data from Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) are used to examine social, cognitive, and attitudinal effects on birth control use. The two main predictor variables are contraceptive self-efficacy (the belief in one's ability to use birth control or refuse unsafe sex) and outcome expectations (the expected positive and negative results of unsafe sex). Demographic factors including race, gender, and religiosity are also included as predictor variables. Logistic regression and generalized estimating equations in STATA 8.0 are used to examine the influence of contraceptive self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and demographic factors on birth control use at first sexual intercourse and at most recent sexual intercourse. A longitudinal examination reveals that, over time, outcome expectations associated with birth control use are more significant predictors of birth control use than contraceptive self-efficacy. The results from this study shed new insight into the influence of cognitive, attitudinal, and social factors on birth control use.




Anderson, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology|Social psychology|Public health

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