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feeling ambivalent

emotions & feelings
feeling abandoned
feeling accepted
feeling accountable
feeling affectionate
feeling aggressive
feeling ambivalent
feeling angry
feeling anxious
feeling appreciation, feeling appreciated
feeling arrogant
avoidance -feeling the need to "avoid" something
feeling awkward
feeling balanced
feeling close
feeling curious
feeling depressed
feeling disappointed
feeling excited
feeling like a failure
feeling fearful or afraid
feeling frustrated
feeling happy
feeling hate
feeling hostile, experiencing hostility
feeling impatient
feeling indifferent
feeling joyful
feeling lonely
feeling in love... feeling loved.... loving
needed - need
feeling negative
feeling obligated
feeling open
feeling optimistic
feeling positive
feeling rebellious
feeling restless...
feeling sad
needing understanding - wanting to understand
feeling wounded

ambivalent feelings... love/hate... peace/hostile



1. uncertainty or fluctuation, esp. when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.

2. Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive & negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.

The article below is really a study... a study that talks about percentages of teens that use protection when having sex & how they "feel" about birth control, getting pregnant & some other factors...
Ambivalent feelings seem to always be the case as it's still not a reality to the teen that if they don't use protection - they will get pregnant - that is... if not the 1st time, most likely the 2nd time. Actually, the more you get away with - having unprotected sex - the more you tend to do it again without protection.
Teens have difficulty believing that "pregnancy" will happen to them! It's just the same as drinking & driving! They will drink & drive - STILL - even though knowing the consequences is so boldly known - because they never believe that it'll happen to them. Things like that happen to "other teens!"

feeling ambivalent

Ambivalence & Pregnancy: Adolescents’ Attitudes, Contraceptive Use & Pregnancy

The majority of pregnancies among unmarried teenagers are unintended.1 Most adolescents don't want to become pregnant, although some aren't opposed to becoming pregnant & others have ambivalent attitudes.2

A number of explanations of why adolescents’ attitudes toward pregnancy vary exist in the literature; however, less often considered is whether these attitudes are associated with pregnancy risk & contraceptive use.

Questions about the relevance of attitudes are important because attitudes may mediate the often-observed association between socioeconomic disadvantage & pregnancy risk. For this reason, social policy is often oriented toward shaping attitudes.

Many researchers & advocates have argued that teenage pregnancy prevention programs should target attitudes toward pregnancy.3

One reason for the attention to pregnancy attitudes has been that interventions that increase the availability of contraceptives have experienced uneven success in reducing teenage pregnancy rates.4

Many experts have concluded that adolescents have access to the means to avoid pregnancy but don't use them or use them inefficiently because they don't appreciate the consequences of pregnancy.5

Actors in the social policy domain may also focus on teenagers’ attitudes because they seem easier to change than the social & economic conditions in which those attitudes develop. For example, poverty is associated with teenage initiation of sex, non-use of condoms at first intercourse & accidental pregnancy,6 but pregnancy intervention programs aren't well suited to end poverty.

They may, however, be well suited to shape attitudes. But which attitudes? In the current political climate, supporting programs designed to shift attitudes about pregnancy is easier than supporting programs designed to shift attitudes about contraception.

In this article, we address whether sexually experienced adolescents’ attitudes toward pregnancy influence their risk of becoming pregnant.

feeling ambivalent

Adolescent Contraceptive Use & Pregnancy

An extensive literature documents the determinants of adolescent contraceptive behavior. Critical factors associated with contraceptive use include social & demographic characteristics (e.g., age, race & income), family - related characteristics (e.g., parental education & closeness with parents) & individual characteristics (e.g., cognitive ability, educational achievement & expectations, self-esteem, age at first sex, history of pregnancy & attitudes toward contraception).7

The impact of religiosity on contraceptive use is less clear & the literature deviate contains mixed results about the effects of adolescents’ knowledge of sex, fertility & contraception.

With respect to pregnancy, the literature reports similar critical determinants.8

Social & demographic predictors include:

  • age
  • race
  • income & parental education

family related predictors include:

  • family structure & relationship with parents

individual predictors include:

  • low cognitive ability
  • low educational expectations & achievement
  • negative attitudes toward school
  • lack of involvement in school clubs 
  • problem behaviors

Popularity at school doesn't predict adolescent females’ risk of pregnancy, but the characteristics of their friends do. Finally, number of partners, age at onset of sexual activity & contraceptive behavior are strong predictors of pregnancy risk.

Most studies that are concerned with attitudes toward pregnancy rely on small convenience samples or on retrospective accounts of pregnant adolescents’ attitudes, which may be colored by the pregnancy. Jaccard et al. examined the role of attitudes toward pregnancy prospectively with a representative sample of sexually experienced & inexperienced adolescent females & found a robust association between positive attitudes & subsequent pregnancies.9

However, attitudes toward pregnancy are likely to be strongly correlated with attitudes toward having sex, which weren't controlled for in the study’s multivariate model.

Thus, the finding may be due to this omitted variable or to other factors that are correlated with pregnancy attitudes & delay in sexual debut. We expand on the prior research in several ways.

1st, we limited our sample to sexually experienced young women, which allows us to assess the role of pregnancy attitudes in the absence of factors associated with the timing of sexual debut but not pregnancy risk. Because the majority of adolescents will become sexually active between the ages of 15 & 19, it's important for educators & policymakers to know whether attitudes toward pregnancy are associated with pregnancy risk among sexually experienced adolescents.

2nd, we explore whether contraceptive use is the behavioral mechanism that links attitude & outcome. It has been argued that ambivalence toward pregnancy is a risk factor for pregnancy because it leads to inconsistent contraceptive use,10 but few studies have directly tested this idea.*11

Finally, we examine the antecedents of attitudes toward pregnancy, paying special attention to the characteristics of adolescent women who lack a clear opinion.

feeling ambivalent



We used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) because of its significant advantages over competing data sets.

1st, researchers have argued for the need to analyze prospective measures of pregnancy attitudes.12 Exploiting the prospective features of Add Health allows us to rule out a reverse effect of behaviors (such as becoming pregnant) on attitudes.

2nd, the range of Add Health data allows us to include in our multi- variate models detailed measures of well-established antecedents of both adolescent attitudes toward contraception & pregnancy & adolescent contraceptive use & pregnancy risk.

Finally, Add Health is a nationally representative study; adolescents are not selected on the basis of failed contraceptive use, as is the case in many clinic-based studies.

Add Health utilizes a multistage clustered sample design & for this study, we used data drawn from its in-home components.13 From May through December 1995, Wave 1 in-home interviews were administered to 20,745 adolescents.

The interviews took 90 minutes to complete, on average & collected detailed information about risk behaviors, romantic partnerships, family dynamics, aspirations, attitudes & activities. 80% of adolescents in the initial sample completed a Wave 1 interview.

Audio computer-assisted self-interviewing technology was used for questions covering sexual & other sensitive health behaviors. Between April & September 1996, re-interviews with Wave 1 respondents, excluding high school seniors, were conducted.

Some 88% of eligible respondents participated in Wave 2, yielding a sample of 14,738 adolescents who completed both interviews.

Female respondents aged 15–19 who participated in both in-home interviews were eligible for inclusion in our analyses; we excluded those younger than 15 because they weren't asked the questions about pregnancy attitudes.

Also, we excluded 44 respondents who were married at Wave 1 or got married between waves & 138 who were missing information on pregnancy attitudes or sexual history.

The final sample consisted of 4,877 adolescent females.

feeling ambivalent


Attitudes toward pregnancy.

In the Wave 1 interviews, adolescents were asked how they would feel if they became pregnant. To measure pregnancy attitudes, we used 5 survey items that assessed adolescents’ perceptions of the consequences of pregnancy:

  • “If you got pregnant, it would be embarrassing for your family”
  • “If you got pregnant, it would be embarrassing for you”
  • “If you got pregnant, you'd have to decide whether or not to have the baby & that would be stressful & difficult”
  • “If you got pregnant, you'd be forced to grow up too fast”
  • “Getting pregnant at this time is one of the worst things that could happen to you.”

Response categories were strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree & strongly disagree.

When the 5 responses were averaged into a single index of pregnancy attitude (Cronbach’s alpha=0.72), this measure had relatively little dispersion (standard deviation contains=0.09) around its mean (2.1).

Most respondents opposed pregnancy, although some respondents did so more vehemently than others & still others appeared not to oppose it all. Yet another group of respondents were unable to form an opinion & chose “neither agree nor disagree.”

We divided respondents into 4 groups according to their attitudes toward pregnancy. Those who strongly agreed with all 5 statements, or strongly agreed with 4 & agreed with 1, were classified as having the most unfavorable attitudes toward becoming pregnant (anti-pregnancy).

Respondents who disagreed or strongly disagreed with at least 3 statements were classified as having the most favorable attitudes toward becoming pregnant (propregnancy).

Those who neither agreed nor disagreed with at least 2 statements were classified as having the least defined attitudes toward becoming pregnant (ambivalent).

We categorized the 15 respondents who qualified as both ambivalent & propregnancy as propregnancy. The remaining respondents were considered to have mainstream attitudes.

Our analytic strategy was to define groups outside the mainstream that would be small enough to be considered extreme in attitude, but large enough to exhibit sufficient within-group variation. These group definitions are robust.

Multiple adjustments to the groups (i.e., restriction & relaxation of the criteria) didn't alter the relationship between attitudes & contraceptive behaviors or the occurrence of pregnancy in multivariate analyses.*

feeling ambivalent

Background characteristics.

We controlled for age, race & ethnicity, maternal education, poverty status, family structure, closeness with mother, religiosity, cognitive ability, self-esteem & social isolation (Table 1).

In addition, we created a measure of risk status - adolescents’ orientation to school, future expectations & non-normative social behavior - from the cross-classification of two indices, as was done in a previous study.14

The first index summarizes orientation to school & includes grade point average, school attachment, number of extracurricular activities & desire for & perceived likelihood of attending college.

The second index summarizes non-normative social behavior & includes drinking, truancy, delinquency & having trouble with teachers or other students. We defined respondents who scored in the bottom quartile on the school orientation index & in the top quartile on the non-normative social behavior index as being high-risk & those who scored in the top quartile on the school orientation index & in the bottom quartile on the non-normative social behavior index as being low-risk. The remaining respondents (the majority) were defined as middle-risk.

Sexual behavior, contraceptive use & contraceptive knowledge.

We considered respondents sexually experienced if they reported at Wave 1 that they had ever had sexual intercourse. Length of sexual career was measured as the difference between respondents’ age at sexual debut & their age at Wave 2.

We defined respondents’ number of partners as the number of sexual partners they reported having between Waves 1 & 2, excluding any partners who were current at Wave 1.

If a respondent reported at Wave 1 that she had ever been pregnant, she was considered to have had a prior pregnancy. Only  pregnancies that occurred between waves were used to construct the outcome measure; pregnancies that had occurred prior to Wave 1 were used as a predictor of between-wave pregnancy.

We assessed respondents’ knowledge about pregnancy avoidance at Wave 1 by their responses to nine true or false questions about proper condom usage, ovulation & pregnancy risk.

In addition, we used the number of questions that a respondent answered incorrectly but was certain she had gotten right as a measure of respondents’ unfounded certainty about pregnancy avoidance.

The questionnaire contained 7 items that measured attitudes toward contraception. We constructed a scale from these items by averaging responses, which were given on a 5-point Likert scale. Higher values indicate more positive attitudes toward contraception (Cronbach’s alpha= 0.81).

Contraceptive behavior was measured retrospectively at Wave 2. Respondents were asked to report on up to 6 sexual relationships & for each relationship, whether they used contraceptives, which methods they used & their contraceptive consistency (always, sometimes or never).

To make sure that we measured the independent variables (e.g., attitudes) before the outcome occurred, only sexual relationships initiated between waves were included in the analysis.

For the analysis of pregnancy, we characterized contraceptive behavior differently for respondents who didn't get pregnant between waves & those who did, to allow for the possibility that a pregnant respondent’s contraceptive behavior was influenced by her pregnancy.

For respondents who became pregnant, contraceptive behavior was characterized by use during the month in which the pregnancy occurred.

To create a similar “worst-case” measure for respondents who didn't get pregnant, contraceptive behavior was summarized across all inter-wave sexual relationships. Respondents were considered nonusers if they hadn't practiced contraception in at least 1 relationship.

Among respondents who had practiced contraception in all their relationships, those who had used contraceptives inconsistently in at least one relationship were classified as inconsistent users & those who always used contraceptives in every relationship were classified as consistent users.

kat's feelings of ambivalence...
In my past, especially throughout my teenage years; I was existing on a continual - nonstop roller coaster ride of emotions and feelings. Up moods, crashed moods, down moods, extended moods, positive moods, negative moods, angry moods, brief moments of clarity... never knowing really just what is was that I felt.
I think most teens have an ambivalent relationship with their parents. If I were to describe the feeling of ambivalence to you in this case it would simply be:
I have a love / hate relationship with my parents. I want them to love me, I want to love my father, I need to love my father and I need him to love me; but there's this hate aspect that goes hand in hand with it... It's frustrating and infuriating to experience two opposite emotions at the same time and to not understand why.
My parents would never say that they loved me but they would always say things like:
  • I hate the way you look in that outfit.
  • I hate the way you always follow your friends around.
  • I hate your irresponsibility. 

I could mention hundreds of things they hate about me; but I'm at a loss for what they liked about me.

With my friends & others at school, I wanted to be included. I would want to hang out with certain cool kids at school & then they would do something stupid like bash gay kids in school & I'd be disappointed in theml. There... I've said it! OMG it's confusing & I hate it, but I love the way those cool kids party together!
I wanted to have sex with my boyfriend & yet I didn't want to. There was this ambivalence I felt about it all. I knew I was needy, emotionally needy. My parents were having troubles & ignored everything I did. I knew that all the kissing & touching felt good. I felt like it was my boyfriend's way of telling me he loved me. I wanted to feel loved. Then in my confusion; I found myself thinking sex was love. What a mistaken belief that was!
Ambivalence haunted me. Not knowing what I felt - it was a constant competition of love/hate - love/hate & I wanted to be sure of something. I wanted to know for sure that someone loved me for who I was & yet I didn't know who I was.
This is a sense of ambivalence.
On the opposite column there's an article about ambivalence. It's what I suspect most teens are thinking when they're getting ready to have sex. Do I use a condom or not? I know I should, but I don't want to...
  • I know I don't want to get pregnant - but having a baby would be so cool!
  • I don't want to get any STD's or AIDS - but using a condom feels so weird....

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