Risky adolescent relationships and reproductive health in young adulthood


Ryan, Suzanne; Manlove, Jennifer; Scott, Mindy; E; & Schelar, Erin (2008). Risky adolescent relationships and reproductive health in young adulthood. 2008 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.


Our study tests the hypothesis that teens who engage in risky sexual behaviors in adolescence are at risk for more negative reproductive health outcomes when they transition to adulthood. Specifically, we explore which particular dimensions of risky adolescent relationships are most predictive of STI and unintended pregnancy risk in young adult relationships. We also test whether the associations differ by gender. We use data from all Waves of Add Health, with information on adolescent relationships drawn from Waves I and II, and young adult outcomes measured in Wave III. STI risk is assessed via two outcome measures: 1) whether respondents ever tested positive for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and/or trichomoniasis, and 2) the number of sexual partners respondents had in the previous year. Unintended pregnancy measures whether respondents ever reported a pregnancy that was unwanted and/or mistimed (versus intended). We use logistic regressions to analyze the two dichotomous outcomes and OLS to analyze the continuous outcome for number of partners. Our critical independent variables capture 10 dimensions of risk in adolescent sexual relationships: 1) multiple partners; 2) young age at first sex; 3) older partner; 4) partner asymmetries; 5) non romantic partner; 6) one night stand; 7) non monogamous relationship; 8) no discussion of contraception/STDs with partner before sex; 9) inconsistent or no contraceptive use; and 10) forced to have sex (females only). We explore the influence of each individual component of risk, as well as create an overall index of risk that groups multiple dimensions together.




Sexual Behavior

Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2008 Add Health Users Conference


Ryan, Suzanne
Manlove, Jennifer
Scott, Mindy
Schelar, Erin

Year Published



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center

City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID