Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Health Services


Nancy Rea


At 25%, teenage pregnancy in Uganda is one of the highest in the world, and this has been mainly attributed to low contraceptive use and a high unmet need for modern contraceptives. Unmarried women aged 15 to 19 years in Uganda face unique cultural, ethical, financial, and legal barriers to the use of contraception. The purpose of this study was to investigate how sexual behavior, contraceptive use, and unmet needs among unmarried teenage women in Uganda aged 15 to 19 years are influenced by personal and environmental factors. Bandura’s social cognitive theory was used as a theoretical framework for this study. Secondary data were analyzed from the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, 2016. The study findings showed that 17.4% of unmarried teenage women were sexually active, knowledge about modern contraceptives was at 99%, modern contraceptive prevalence rate was 27.3%, unmet need for contraception was 35.5% of which 18.6% was due to discontinuation. Multinomial regression analysis showed that there were increased odds of being sexually active among older unmarried teenage women (OR = 2.351, p = .000), while there were increased odds of using modern contraceptives among unmarried teenage women with a higher number of living children (OR = 2.875, p = .000 ) and among those with more years of education (OR = 1.371, p = .000). Religion was found not to significantly affect sexual activity and contraceptive use among respondents. The findings from this study emphasize the need for increased stakeholder awareness of the factors contributing to early sexual activity, the use of modern contraceptives, and the unmet need for contraceptive use among sexually active unmarried teenage women.