Factors influencing repeated teenage pregnancy: a review and meta-analysis

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Existing evidence of predictors of repeated teenage pregnancy has not been assessed rigorously. This systematic review provides a comprehensive evaluation of protective and risk factors that are associated with repeated teenage pregnancy through a metaanalytical consensus.


We used PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, ProQuest, PsychINFO, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science databases from 1997–2015 and the reference list of other relevant research papers and related reviews.


Eligibility criteria included (1) epidemiologic studies that analyzed factors associated with repeated pregnancy or birth among adolescents <20 years of age who were nulliparous or experienced at least 1 pregnancy, and (2) experimental studies with an observational component that was adjusted for the intervention.


We performed narrative synthesis of study characteristics, participant characteristics, study results, and quality assessment. We also conducted random-effects and quality-effects metaanalyses with meta-regression to obtain pooled odds ratios of identified factors and to determine sources of between-study heterogeneity.


Twenty-six eligible epidemiologic studies, most from the United States (n=24), showed >47 factors with no evidence of publication bias for each metaanalysis. Use of contraception (pooled odds ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.35–1.02), particularly long-acting reversible contraceptives (pooled odds ratio, 0.19; 95% confidence interval, 0.08–0.45), considerably reduced repeated teenage pregnancy risk. Among studies about contraception, the number of follow-up visits (adjusted coefficient, 0.72; P=.102) and country of study (unadjusted coefficient, 2.57; permuted P=.071) explained between-study heterogeneity. Education-related factors, which included higher level of education (pooled odds ratio, 0.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.60–0.91) and school continuation (pooled odds ratio, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.33–0.84), were found to be protective. Conversely, depression (pooled odds ratio, 1.46; 95% confidence interval, 1.14–1.87), history of abortion (pooled odds ratio, 1.66; 95% confidence interval, 1.08–2.54), and relationship factors, such as partner support, increased the repeated teenage pregnancy risk.


Contraceptive use, educational factors, depression, and a history of abortion are the highly influential predictors of repeated teenage pregnancy. However, there is a lack of epidemiologic studies in low- and middle-income countries to measure the extent and characteristics of repeated teenage pregnancy across more varied settings.

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