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Relationship Between Dating Violence and Contraceptive Use Among Texas Adolescents

, Sitara M. Weerakoon, Matthew S. Mathew, Luyu Xie, Sarah E. Messiah
Published: 24 August 2022

Abstract: The recent overturning of Roe v. Wade has the potential to adversely impact reproductive health among adolescents experiencing unplanned pregnancies from dating violence. We examined the associations between contraceptive use and dating violence among Texas high schoolers in the years leading up to this new law. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data from Texas 9th to 12th graders from 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2019 were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression analyses examined the association between contraceptive use and key descriptive predictors (physical and/or sexual dating violence, survey year, age, sex, and race/ethnic group). Eleven percent of Texas adolescents surveyed reported experiencing either physical or sexual dating violence and 2% reported experiencing both types of violence. Those who experienced any dating violence were significantly more likely to report not using contraception versus those who did not experience violence (12.5% vs. 68.3%, p = 0.01). Adolescents who experienced any type of dating violence were more likely to report using hormonal contraception, condom use, or withdrawal versus those who did not experience dating violence. Hispanic adolescents were 63% more likely than their ethnic group counterparts to use no contraception (odds ratio [OR] 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.11–2.40]). A significant proportion of Texas adolescents reported experiencing dating violence, and this group also reported higher noncontraception use versus those not experiencing dating violence. Given new strict Texas antiabortion laws, dating violence prevention and contraceptive use promotion to prevent unwanted reproductive outcomes such as sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancies are imperative in this age group.
Keywords: contraceptive / dating violence / survey / Texas adolescents / law / unplanned pregnancies

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