Internal Poverty and Teen Pregnancy

By Young, Tamera M.; Martin, Sue S. et al. | Adolescence, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Internal Poverty and Teen Pregnancy


Young, Tamera M., Martin, Sue S., Young, Michael E., Ting, Ling, Adolescence


ABSTRACT

The subjects for the present study were drawn from the female students who participated in the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) initial eighth-grade data collection. Adolescent females who later became pregnant were matched on race, birth month, and birth year with adolescent females who did not report a pregnancy. The study examined selected predictor variables from the baseline 1988 wave of data in relation to the outcome variable of pregnancy status. Results indicated a statistically significant difference in locus of control between those females who later became pregnant and those who later did not experience a pregnancy during adolescence. Those who later became pregnant were much more likely to have an external locus of control (p = .0001). Females who later became pregnant were also more likely to have a poorer sense of personal efficacy (p = .0001). Finally, females who later experienced a teen pregnancy had more traditional occupational expectations (p = .006) and lower educational expec tations (p = .001) than did those who did not later report a teen pregnancy.

Adolescent childbearing has negative effects on the adolescent, the offspring, and society in general (Roosa, Fitzgerald, & Carlson, 1982; Elster, Lamb, Peters, Kahn, & Tavare, 1987; Donovan & Jessor, 1985; Mott & Haurin, 1988; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995). Research examining predisposing factors in adolescent childbearing has frequently been restricted to correlational studies, often even in the context of confounding enrichment programs. Thus, there is a great need to (1) identify the underlying factors that precede teen pregnancy and (2) address these factors in programs designed to reduce adolescent childbearing. The present study sought to examine the roots of adolescent childbearing using data acquired prior to pregnancy. Specifically, it explored the relationship between internal poverty (low educational and occupational aspirations, poor personal efficacy, and external locus of control) and adolescent pregnancy.

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

Perceived Self-Efficacy and Locus of Control

This study is heavily rooted is Bandura's (1994) self-efficacy theory. Self-efficacy is defined as a person's beliefs about his or her ability to attain particular goals. It has been found to impact the coping ability and behaviors of the individual (Bandura, 1994).

This theory centers around three processes and three types of motivation. Efficacy-activating processes include cognitive, motivational, and affective processes (Bandura, 1994). Self-efficacy is believed to influence motivation--including causal attributions, outcome expectancies, and cognized goals. Self-efficacy influences causal attributions in that those who see themselves as efficacious attribute failure to lack of effort, while those who see themselves as inefficacious attribute failure to low ability. Efficacy influences outcome expectancy in that behavior is influenced by beliefs concerning personal capabilities and not just the expected outcomes of a behavior. Goal setting, another tool for enhanced motivation, is also influenced by perceived self-efficacy in several ways. Bandura asserts that efficacy determines the goals people set for themselves, how much effort they expend, how long they persevere in the face of barriers, and their resilience to failure. Efficacy also influences affective process es--those regulating emotional states and reactions such as stress, anxiety arousal, and depression (Bandura, 1994).

Another theoretical construct that is relevant for this study is locus of control (Rotter, 1975)--the degree to which individuals believe they have control over events in their lives versus the degree to which they believe they are victims of fate or external circumstances. Individuals with an external locus of control fail to see a connection between personal behavioral choices, well-being, and quality of life. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Internal Poverty and Teen Pregnancy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.