This study tested sexual abuse as a unique predictor of subsequent adolescent sexual behaviors, pregnancy, and motherhood when in company with other types of maltreatment (physical abuse, neglect) and alternative behavioral, family, and contextual risk factors in a prospective, longitudinal study of maltreated (n = 275) and comparison (n = 239) nulliparous females aged 14–19 years old assessed annually through 19 years old. Hierarchical regression was used to disentangle risk factors that account for the associations of maltreatment type on risky sexual behaviors at 19 years old, adolescent pregnancy, and adolescent motherhood. Findings indicate that sexual and physical abuse remain significant predictors of risky sexual behaviors, and that sexual abuse remains a significant predictor of adolescent motherhood when alternative explanatory variables are controlled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)967-983
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this