Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Carol Roye

Subject Categories



Adolescent, African American, Females, Phenomenology, Pregnancy avoidance, Sexually active


The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of sexually active never pregnant African American female adolescents living in an underserved neighborhood including discussions on their thoughts about ways other teens can similarly avoid pregnancy. The study was conducted using a Hermeneutic phenomenological qualitative approach as described and outlined by Merleau-Ponty as well as the van Manen technique to analyze data obtained in this study. This study contributes to the nursing literature and was conducted to understand the essence and meaning of pregnancy avoidance as experienced by sexually active, never pregnant African American female teens within the context of positive deviance.

This phenomenological study examined the lived experiences of seven African American female teens who were sexually active and reported having never been pregnant. The teens were recruited from a community health care center in the underserved neighborhood in which they lived. They each answered a demographic questionnaire and underwent a one on one in depth interview.

An interpretation of the text of each participant's life story revealed six essential themes:

1. Sense of Emotional Safety

2. Sense of being free from a potential pregnancy

3. Feeling supported by family and friends

4. Connections built on trust and communication

5. Regard for self through self esteem and self confidence

6. Sense of having goals

After further reflection upon the six essential themes, an interpretive statement was developed "These teenagers experienced a sense of emotional safety, support by family and friends, trust and connection with family, friends and healthcare providers, and self-confidence resulting in the opportunity to develop life goals and feel strongly motivated to be free from pregnancy." The Theory of Planned Behavior was found to be consistent with the essential themes and interpretive statement, which were derived from the participants' narratives.

Included in

Nursing Commons