The Sexual Health Needs of Adolescent Boys Involved in a Pregnancy

Mary A. Ott, Matthew Wells, Teresa M. Imburgia, Ziyi Yang, Wanzhu Tu, Colette L. Auerswald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Little is known about fatherhood in middle adolescence. To better understand their sexual health needs, we describe relationship characteristics, perception of masculinity, and associated sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk behaviors in a community-based sample of urban middle adolescent boys who have fathered a child or been involved with a pregnancy. Methods: We used venue-based sampling to recruit 339 boys (aged 14–17 years) in neighborhoods with high STI prevalence. We administered a brief survey on sexual relationship and pregnancy history, STI risk, juvenile justice involvement, and masculinity. Results: Fifteen percent had either fathered a child or been involved with a pregnancy. In multivariate analysis, controlling for age and ethnicity, adolescent fathers were more likely to be involved with juvenile justice and engage in STI risk behaviors. These included condom nonuse and partner checking a cell phone. Although of borderline significance, older partners, past STI testing, and drug or alcohol use at last sex improved model fit. Conclusion: Adolescent fathers have distinct relational and sexual health needs. Their specific needs should be targeted by prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-540
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Adolescent male
  • Community-based research
  • Fatherhood
  • Masculinity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual behavior
  • Venue-based sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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