Conduct disorder symptoms and subsequent pregnancy, child-birth and abortion: A population-based longitudinal study of adolescents
Research on teenage pregnancy and abortion has primarily focused on socio-economic disadvantage. However, a few studies suggest that risk of unwanted pregnancy is related to conduct disorder symptoms. These authors examined the relationship between level of conduct disorder symptoms at age 15 and subsequent pregnancy, childbirth, and abortion. They followed a population-based, representative sample of Norwegian adolescent girls (N = 769) from early adolescence until their mid-20s. Even after controlling for socio-demographic and family variables, conduct disorder symptoms at age 15 were strongly associated with pregnancy in the 15-19 age group, but the association was weaker in the 20-28 age group. Similar results were obtained for abortions, except that a strong relationship with conduct disorder symptoms was found even after age 20. After adjustment, no significant association between conduct disorder symptoms and subsequent childbirth was observed. The findings suggest that more targeted preventive programs aimed at girls with conduct disorder symptoms may be warranted. Modified Author Abstract.