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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2011, Article ID 765917, 7 pages
Research Article

Multiple Method Contraception Use among African American Adolescents in Four US Cities

1Department of Behavioral Sciences & Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
3Center for Health and Behavior, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-5040, USA
4Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
5Department of Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
6Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201-2196, USA

Received 15 April 2011; Accepted 10 June 2011

Academic Editor: Melissa J. Kottke

Copyright © 2011 Jennifer L. Brown et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report on African American adolescents' (N=850; M age = 15.4) contraceptive practices and type of contraception utilized during their last sexual encounter. Respondents completed measures of demographics, contraceptive use, sexual partner type, and ability to select “safe” sexual partners. 40% endorsed use of dual or multiple contraceptive methods; a total of 35 different contraceptive combinations were reported. Perceived ability to select “safe” partners was associated with not using contraception (OR = 1.25), using less effective contraceptive methods (OR = 1.23), or hormonal birth control (OR = 1.50). Female gender predicted hormonal birth control use (OR = 2.33), use of less effective contraceptive methods (e.g., withdrawal; OR = 2.47), and using no contraception (OR = 2.37). Respondents' age and partner type did not predict contraception use. Adolescents used contraceptive methods with limited ability to prevent both unintended pregnancies and STD/HIV. Adolescents who believed their partners posed low risk were more likely to use contraceptive practices other than condoms or no contraception. Reproductive health practitioners are encouraged to help youth negotiate contraceptive use with partners, regardless of the partner's perceived riskiness.