EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND TEENAGE PREGNANCY IN GALVESTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT HIGHSCHOOLERS
Animadu, Page U.
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In Galveston County in 2011 there were 15.9 live births per 1000 girls aged 15-17 years old, which is higher than the national average. The purpose of this research was to assess the role of emotional health, specifically depression status, suicidal ideation, and family support in pregnancies among teens aged 14-18 years in Galveston County. The University of Texas Medical Branch and the Galveston Independent School District partnered to create the Gulf Coast Student Survey to obtain feedback on a wide range of student health topics, pertaining to risky behavior among adolescents. The high school students thus completed a survey to identify concerns in order to enable the District, the University and interested community programs to develop new student outreach programs or revise existing ones. Adolescents’ self-reported responses were used to define the study outcome, teenage pregnancy, and study exposures including depression status, suicidal ideation and family support. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the association of depression, suicidal ideation and family support with teenage pregnancies, adjusting for confounders. No statistical significant relationships were observed between emotional health of female students and teenage pregnancies when adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, condom use and birth control access in the analysis. Given the high rates of teenage pregnancies in Galveston County and possible study limitation of low power and self-reported responses, it is important that a large comprehensive prospective cohort study is needed to further evaluate these relationships.