Pregnancy history, social images, and (lack of) condom use among African American adolescents and young adults
Barr, Ashley Brooke
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Using a sample of African American adolescents and young adults, the present study assesses the relationship between pregnancy history and risky sexual behavior, particularly lack of condom use during sex. Changes in the desire for pregnancy, use of the birth control pill, and protypical perceptions of pregnant peers are assessed for their potentially mediating roles. Results suggest that perceptions of pregnant peers as well as perceptions of the self in relation to those peers change as a function of pregnancy history. Further, these changes in social images attenuate the effect of birth on females’ willingness to engage in condomless sex. Both the direct effect of pregnancy history on condom use behavior and the role of social images in mediating this relationship differ by respondent gender.