Adolescent Men’s Attitudes in Relation to Pregnancy and Pregnancy
Outcomes: A Systematic Review of the Literature From 1980–2009
Maria Lohan, Ph.D.
, Sharon Cruise, Ph.D.
, Peter O’Halloran, R.G.N., Ph.D.
Fiona Alderdice, Ph.D.
, and Abbey Hyde, R.G.N., Ph.D.
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
School of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Manuscript received January 8, 2010; manuscript accepted May 8, 2010
Abstract This review article reveals a long-standing gender bias in academic and policy research on adolescent
pregnancy, which has led to the neglect of adolescent men’s perspectives. The review summarizes the
available literature on adolescent men’s attitudes in relation to pregnancy occurrence and pregnancy
outcomes in the context of addressing three questions: (1) What are adolescent men’s attitudes to
an adolescent pregnancy? (2) What are adolescent men’s attitudes in relation to pregnancy outcomes?
(3) What explanations are offered for the identiﬁed attitudes to adolescent pregnancy and resolution?
The review establishes a foundation for future quantitative and qualitative research on adolescent
men’s perspectives. It emphasizes that a greater understanding of adolescent men’s perspectives could
lead to a re-framing of adolescent pregnancy away from being seen solely as a woman’s issue.
Furthermore, it is argued that the inclusion of adolescent men would lead to more effective adolescent
pregnancy prevention and counseling programmes. Ó 2010 Society for Adolescent Health and
Medicine. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Adolescent men; Attitudes to pregnancy; Pregnancy decision-making; Pregnancy outcomes; Abortion; Continuation
of pregnancy; Adoption
Internationally, governments are introducing carrot and
stick approaches to getting fathers involved with their
children. The sticks are neo-liberal inspired policies to
compel men to take ﬁnancial responsibility for their children
(pay maintenance) and the carrots are evident in policy
documents, such as the UK government’s Families and
Relationship Green Paper (2010), which set out a wide
variety of health and social care services to offer improved
support to fathers to be involved at the birth and in parenting
their children . The policy moves are not just economically
inspired, but are grounded in research suggesting that fathers’
involvement with their children can improve children’s lives
and reduce social marginalization . However, these
policies are aimed at a relatively late stage in potential
fathers’ lives and the policies could be improved if informed
by research on adolescent men’s perspectives on their
role in pregnancy or pregnancy prevention and pregnancy
Much of the research that has been conducted on the role
of men in adolescent pregnancy and pregnancy resolution has
focused on the views of men as perceived by women and how
these views deﬁne and constrain women’s options [3–10].
We argue that a greater understanding of adolescent men’s
views on adolescent pregnancy and pregnancy resolution
would re-frame adolescent pregnancy as an issue for adoles-
cent men as well as adolescent women and would lead to
more effective and gender inclusive pregnancy prevention
and counseling programmes. Given recent rises in the
teenage pregnancy rates in the United States  and in
England and Wales, including adolescents aged <16 years
, new approaches to addressing adolescent pregnancies
are likely to remain a policy priority in these countries.
In this article, we review the available research evidence
pertaining to the following questions:
*Address correspondence to: Maria Lohan, Ph.D., School of Nursing and
Midwifery, 10 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 5BN, United Kingdom.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
1054-139X/$ - see front matter Ó 2010 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.
Journal of Adolescent Health 47 (2010) 327–345