Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Community and Family Health

Major Professor

Eric Buhi, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Ellen Daley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julie Baldwin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D.


Sexual Health, Reproductive Health, Health Disparities, Adolescence


This dissertation study utilized the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to analyze empirical relationships between social determinants of health and adolescent pregnancy. Although rates of adolescent pregnancy are at an all-time low in the United States, disparities persist. Examining relationships between the social determinants of health and adolescent pregnancy provides support for funding and interventions that expand on the current focus of individual and interpersonal level factors. Based on the Healthy People 2020 Social Determinants of Health Framework, proxy measures for social determinants of health were identified within the Add Health study and analyzed in relationship with adolescent pregnancy. Results indicated that six of 17 measures of social determinants of health had an empirical relationship with adolescent pregnancy. These measures included the following: feeling close to others at school, receipt of high school diploma, enrollment in higher education, participation in volunteering or community service, litter or trash in the neighborhood environment, and living in a two parent home. The results of this study can inform future research, allocation of funds and interventions based on social determinants of health that show an association with adolescent pregnancy.

Included in

Public Health Commons