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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


RESTREPO MARTINEZ, Miguel et al. Sexual abuse and neglect situations as risk factors for adolescent pregnancy,. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2017, vol.46, n.2, pp.74-81. ISSN 0034-7450.


In Colombia, one out of five women between the ages of 15 and 19 years have been pregnant. Almost two-thirds (64%) of these pregnancies were unplanned.


To examine the socio-demographic, psychosocial and clinical risk factors associated with adolescent pregnancy.


An analytical prevalence study was performed using secondary data from the First Demographic Study of Mental Health in Medellin, Colombia. Female adolescents between 13 and 19 years of age were included in the study. The population was evaluated using the Composite International Diagnosis Interview, a structured interview developed by the World Health Organization, which establishes diagnoses according to the DSM-IV and ICD-10 criteria.


A sample of 499 female adolescents was obtained, in which 135 adolescent pregnancies were identified, representing a prevalence of 21.5%. The large majority (84.4%) were between 16 and 19 years old. The median age was 17 years, with an interquartile range of 2 years. Almost two-thirds (61.2%) of female adolescents had initiated sexual activity at the age of 15 or later. Almost one-third (31.9%) reported being physically abused during childhood, and 6.7% sexually abused. Of those who were pregnant, 66.7% reported previous sexual abuse. A bivariate analysis showed that sexual abuse (OR = 7.68), childhood negligence (OR = 4.33), and having a partner (OR = 6.31) were factors associated with an adolescent pregnancy.


Negligence and sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence can be prevented, and adolescent pregnancies can be decreased. This finding has important implications for clinical management and prognosis, and requires public preventive policies.

Keywords : Pregnancy; Adolescents; Mental disorder; Risk factor.

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