Untangling the health disparities of teen pregnancy
PURPOSE: The purpose of this secondary analysis is to determine whether a developmental maturity model differentially predicts pregnancy for African American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican inner-city teens. DESIGN AND METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of data from a case control study that tested a model of developmental maturity and teen pregnancy with 183 pregnant and never-pregnant pairs of inner-city teens matched on age, ethnicity, and freshman cohort. RESULTS: The models differentially predict pregnancy for the separate ethnic groups, with sexual behaviors being the most important factors regardless of ethnicity. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The health disparities of teen pregnancies may not decrease unless patterns of dating/sexual behaviors are reversed.