Author(s): Gibson JW, Lanz JB
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Abstract PIP: Attitudes of 240 female Hispanic teenagers in 1984-85 in New York City toward the importance of birth control (ATIBC) are examined as a reflection of the following: demographic factors, educational aspirations, maternal characteristics, religiosity, clarity of longterm goals, and perception of friends' behavior, i.e., the degree, formation, and variation of these factors. The nonrandom sample was recruited from pregnancy prevention classes. The questionnaire was available in English or Spanish. 9 research questions were of interest including whether girls in female-headed households were more likely to be sexually active and have higher ATIBC scores, whether Catholics will have lower ATIBC scores, whether spanish preference speakers have lower ATIBC scores, whether working mothers' children, or more highly educated mothers' children were more sexually active and have higher scores, whether religiosity lowers scores, whether higher educational aspirations increases scores, whether childrens' beliefs that most of the friends use contraceptive is related to higher cores, and whether clearer longterm goals are related to higher scores. The attitude scale was based on Kirby's and Cvetkovich and Grote's work and focused on peer influence, parental attitudes, and strength of intention to use contraceptives. Other measures are identified by specific questions, i.e., clarity of longterm goals is measured by the question: I have a clear idea of where I'm headed in the future, and I know what I want out of life. The results indicated that 4 variables were significantly associated with ATIBC scores: 1) lower scores were associated with teenagers who had mothers with low education (2nd-9th grades), and 2) teenagers who spoke Spanish best; 3) perceived importance of religion was significantly related to lower ATIBC scores such that great importance was related to low scores and little importance was related to high scores; and 4) teenagers' belief about their friends' potential use of birth control was significantly related such that if 75\% of friends were thought to use birth control. These 4 predictors (primary language, mother's education, importance of religion, and friends' perceived birth control use) yielded an R of .55 and and R2 = .31. The strongest single predictor is friends' perceived birth control use at 15\% and mother's education at 14\%.
This article was published in Child Adolesc Social Work J
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research