CONFLICT OVER A PAST ABORTION AS AN INFLUENCE ON SUBSEQUENT PREGNANCY RISK
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This investigation primarily sought to determine what factors influence pregnancy risk subsequent to an abortion experienced during adolescence. Emphasis was placed on determining whether both internal and external conflict were significant predictors of future pregnancy risk. Additionally, psychological maturity and age were also examined to assess their influence on contraceptive practice subsequent to an abortion. Two hundred thirty-one subjects were divided at the initial interview according to their pregnancy status. Three groups emerged (effective contraceptors, "aborters," and "full termers"). All groups were evaluated at the initial interview on dimensions such as attitude towards abortion; effects of a prior abortion (if obtained) and who influences current pregnancy resolution (if pregnant at the initial interview). The variables of psychological maturity, age, and conflict were primarily assessed on those adolescents who obtained an abortion at the initial interview and who returned for follow-up. The measures used to assess the different variables were questions from the initial interview, The Washington University Sentence Completion Test and a Likert Scale (devised by this researcher and the staff of the project) to evaluate conflict.;The conclusions drawn from this study were limited primarily due to the small sample used, i.e., the generalizability of the results were questionable. Consequently, the conclusions generated from this study are optimally looked at as questions for future research using larger samples. With these limitations in mind, it can be concluded that: (1) both internal and external conflict experienced at the time of an abortion increases the risk for future ineffective contraceptive practice and; (2) younger adolescents are at greater risk than older adolescents for ineffective contraceptive practice subsequent to an abortion. Additionally, degree of psychological maturity appears to influence the degree to which an adolescent may or may not become an effective contraceptor subsequent to an abortion, i.e., the higher the level of ego development, the less likely it is that an adolescent will become an ineffective contraceptor subsequent to an abortion.
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