UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Characteristics of the adolescent father Kim, Amanda L.


Adolescent pregnancy and sexuality has traditionally been approached from the female point of view. Research has extensively documented characteristics, antecedents and consequences of adolescent pregnancy for the female, but very little is known about the male. Here, this study begins to describe the adolescent father. Comparisons were made between adolescent males who are and are not sexually active, as well as between those sexually active males who have and have not caused a pregnancy in order to provide clues for the prevention and counseling regarding initiation of sexual intercourse or adverse sequelae of sexual activity. Data from the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey was utilized. The survey was held in 1992 among 12 to 18 year old students in British Columbia. This survey had collected data from 7,254 young males. In this group, 2,345 (31.9 percent) were sexually active, of whom 181 (7.7 percent) had caused one or more pregnancies. An additional 100 (4.3 percent) indicated they were unsure about having caused a pregnancy. The associations of sexual activity and fatherhood with six categories of variables were studied: individual and family demographics; school achievement and self-esteem; physical and mental health; risk taking behaviours; alcohol, tobacco and recreational drug use; and sexuality and sexual practice. Engaging in sexual activity was independently associated with provincial region, having academic difficulties (such as skipping school), and use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other recreational drugs. Furthermore, it was associated with risk taking behaviours such as binge drinking and involvement in physical fights. These Canadian findings confirm reports from the United States. Among the sexually active young men, fatherhood was not only associated with use of contraceptives, early age of sexual activity and history of sexually transmitted infections, but also with physical health problems and history of sexual abuse. Religiosity was associated with delayed sexual activity, whereas among the sexually active, religious youth were more likely to be fathers. These finding have not been reported previously. They are significant in providing clues for prevention and counseling, and are the basis for the recommendations made in this thesis.

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