Contraceptive behavior and adolescent lifestyles: A structural modeling approach

J. Dennis Fortenberry, Frances M. Costa, Richard Jessor, John E. Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Relations of contraceptive behavior, problem behaviors, and health-protective behaviors were examined in an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of sexually active adolescents. First-order latent variables representing contraceptive use, alcohol use, drug use, aggression, delinquency, diet, exercise, seatbelt use, and dental hygiene were established, using multiple observed measures for each latent variable. Relations among these first-order latent constructs of contraception, problem behaviors, and health behaviors were examined using second-order confirmatory factor analysis. Three alternative models were compared: a second-order factor of problem behavior alone accounting for variation in contraceptive use; a second-order factor of health-protective behavior alone accounting for variation in contraceptive use; and second-order latent variables of both problem behavior and health-protective behavior accounting for variation in contraceptive use. Models including a path between health protection and contraception provided the best fit for the data. The findings demonstrate substantial organization among adolescent health and problem behaviors and suggest that contraceptive behavior should be conceptualized within broader domains of behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-329
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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