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Background: Adolescent pregnancy has become an important public health issue. It affects not only a maternal and child health, but also affects socioeconomic status of the country.
Objective: To study factors associated with pregnancy among adolescent women in a rural area of Thailand.
Method: Cases in the study were 48 primigravida pregnant women, aged 11 - 19 years old who lived in Amphur Phiboon Mangsaharn, Ubon Ratchathani Province. Controls were 144 adolescent women who had never been pregnant and lived nearby or in the same village with cases. (Case: Control = 1 : 3) The data were collected by self-administered questionnaires during 1 March - 31 May 2012. Descriptive statistics were frequency, percentage, mean and standard deviation. Chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, t-test and logistic regression were used to test the association between these variables. Significant level was set at P < 0.05.
Results: By logistic regression analysis, factors significantly associated with adolescent pregnancy were staying with husband or friends, working as housewife or farmer, receiving monthly allowance from husband or husband's family and attitude towards sex.
Conclusion: Three of four statistically significant factors which were 1) staying with husband or friends, 2) working as a housewife or a farmer and 3) receiving monthly allowance from husband or husband's family, were resulted from pregnancy rather than causes. Normally in the rural area, most adolescents after getting married, get out of school to work, move to stay with husband and husband's family, and rely on support from their husbands and families. Attitude towards sex was the only factor that could be applied to effectively prevent adolescent pregnancy. The measures should start from the smallest unit which influence the thought and attitude of adolescents i.e. family and school.
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