Sexual activity and contraceptive use among low-income urban black adolescent females.

J. B. Keith, C. McCreary, K. Collins, C. P. Smith, I. Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A modified form of Nathanson and Becker's (1983) Health Belief Model Questionnaire and other measures designed to assess cognitive processing were administered to low-income black adolescent female clients of an inner-city comprehensive health care clinic. The purpose of the study was to explore determinants of sexual activity and contraceptive use. Subjects were classified as not sexually active (n = 50), sexually active/noncontracepting (n = 20), or sexually active/contracepting (n = 72). Not sexually active subjects tended to be younger, more career motivated, to have a father at home, to be more influenced by family values, and to have more conservative attitudes regarding adolescent sexuality than did sexually active subjects. Sexually active/noncontracepting subjects tended to report fewer benefits and more barriers to the use of contraception. Level of cognitive processing did not differ among the three groups, but was at a lower-than-expected level for age. Finally, inconsistent contraceptive use was common to both sexually active groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-785
Number of pages17
Issue number104
StatePublished - Dec 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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