Abstract

The relationship between adolescent drug use and premarital teen pregnancy and abortion as a pregnancy outcome among sexually active women is investigated in a sample of white women from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Event history analysis is used to explore whether prior drug use has a unique effect on premarital teen pregnancy, with controls for personality, lifestyle, and biological factors. Logistic regression is used to estimate whether drug use affects the decision to terminate a premarital teen pregnancy. The results show that the risk of premarital teen pregnancy is nearly four times as high for those who have used illicit drugs other than marijuana as for those with no history of any prior substance involvement. Furthermore, illicit drug use increases the likelihood of an abortion by a factor of 5. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.

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