Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Department

Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Elizabeth Turf

Second Advisor

May Kennedy

Abstract

Purpose: The objective of this study was to determine if regular volunteering during adolescence was associated with a delay in first pregnancy until adulthood. Method: Data for this analysis were drawn from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Logistic regression was used, controlling for demographic characteristics and pregnancy intention, to estimate the independent contribution of volunteering during adolescence to a delay in first pregnancy until after age 18. Results: One-third of respondents reported regularly volunteering during adolescence. Volunteering significantly differed among those who had a teen pregnancy compared to those who delayed pregnancy until adulthood (chi-square 6.52, p-value 0.012). In the adjusted analysis, respondents who reported regularly volunteering during adolescence were nearly 60% more likely to delay their first pregnancy until adulthood compared to those who did not volunteer. Conclusions: This analysis is the only one known to have examined volunteering alone, not as part of a multiple component prevention program. Its findings suggest that incorporating volunteering opportunities may make pregnancy prevention programs more successful. In addition, increasing the number of the kinds of volunteering opportunities that are already available may confer some protection against adolescent pregnancy.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009

Included in

Epidemiology Commons

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