Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The contribution of school-level factors to contraceptive use among adolescents in New York city public high schools
by Kaplan, Deborah L., D.P.H., City University of New York, 2013, 253; 3601808
Abstract (Summary)

Every year approximately 17,000 adolescents ages 15-19 become pregnant in New York City. Most of these pregnancies are unintended and only a small percent of adolescents use effective contraception, with wide disparities by race/ethnicity and poverty level. While many studies have identified factors associated with contraceptive use, most research has focused on individual level factors, with little attention to the contribution of the school environment to sexual risk behavior and contraceptive use. This study investigates the effect of school-level factors on contraceptive use among adolescents in NYC public high schools before and after controlling for individual-level factors, and whether this effect varies with race/ethnicity. Using a cross-sectional design, the NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) individual-level datasets for 2007, 2009 and 2011 were linked to a school-level dataset. Variables were selected based on empirical findings on factors associated with sexual behaviors, including contraceptive use, by adolescents. The analytic sample included all YRBS respondents aged 14 or older who reported having sexual intercourse in the past three months and had complete responses to the YRBS questions on contraceptive use at last sex (N=8,054). The chi square test of significance was used to evaluate significant associations between independent variables and contraceptive use in bivariate analyses; variables with a p value < 0.1 were included in the multivariable analyses. Binary and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate the strength of the associations of school-level factors with contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents. Findings included that use of any contraception and/or hormonal contraception at last sexual intercourse was associated with attending schools with a higher six-year graduation rate, higher percent of students strongly agreeing they were safe in their classrooms, higher percent of teachers at the school for over two years, and having a School-Based Health Center (SBHC) in the building. No known study has examined the contribution of school-level effects to contraceptive use in a dataset linking YRBS and school-level datasets. Implications of research findings are that schools providing a supportive, engaging and safe environment can protect students from sexual risk behaviors and increase contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Romero, Diana, Freudenberg, Nicholas
Commitee: Borrell, Luisa, Santelli, John
School: City University of New York
Department: Public Health
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Aeronomy, Public health, Developmental psychology
Keywords: Adolescent reproductive heatlh, Contraceptive use, Public high schools, School health, Teen pregnancy
Publication Number: 3601808
ISBN: 9781303535253
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