Thompson, E.L., Litt, D.M., Griner, S.B. et al. Cognitions and behaviors related to risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancies among young adult women. J Behav Med (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-020-00183-w
This study assessed alcohol and sex-related cognitions and behaviors, including alcohol-related sexual expectancies, descriptive norms, and protective behavioral strategies, associated with women’s risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy.
A national sample of young adults ages 18–20 years was subset to women who were capable of pregnancy and sexually active (n = 422). The outcome was risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy as determined by contraceptive status and heavy-episodic drinking. SAS version 9.4 was used to estimate logistic regression models.
Alcohol-related sexual expectancies related to enhancement were significantly associated with increased odds of alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk. In contrast, women who reported the use of more safe sex (non-condom related) protective behavioral strategies (e.g., talk to partner about birth control use) were at decreased odds of alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk.
Future interventions to reduce the risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancies should consider alcohol-related sexual expectancies and safer sex protective behavioral strategies as leverage points.
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