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Pregnancy and miscarriage predict suicide attempts but not substance use among dual-systems involved female adolescents

NCJ Number
Children and Youth Services Review Volume: 137 Dated: 2022
Date Published

This study of adolescent pregnancy and miscarriages found that pregnancy and miscarriage predict suicide attempts but not substance abuse.


Using a prospective, longitudinal design, the authors examined the role of adolescent pregnancy outcomes on risk for suicide attempts and substance use among a sample of 166 female adolescents with juvenile justice system and child welfare involvement. This study examines the associations between adolescent pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes on substance use and suicide attempts in a sample who is at greater risk for substance use and suicide attempts — those who have been involved with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Of participants, 36% (n = 60) reported at least one adolescent pregnancy with a total of 109 pregnancies reported. Adolescent pregnancy was associated with an increase in later suicide attempts (aOR = 1.68, 95% CI 1.06–2.72). Miscarriage was associated with a 2-fold increase in the likelihood of later suicide attempts, (aOR = 2.12, 95% CI 1.10–4.12). No participants who reported induced abortion (n = 13) reported suicide attempts. Adolescent pregnancy, miscarriage, and abortion were not significantly associated with later substance use (Ps > 0.05). (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2022