Teenagers represent a promising target population for organ donor registration efforts, as in the US teenagers age 15–17 may register their intent for organ donation, which later translates to consent at age 18. However, teenagers constitute a relatively understudied population in the organ donation literature. A sample of teenagers (N = 466) ranging in age from 13 to 19 was recruited from driver's education schools in Ohio and Michigan in order to learn more about their perceived reasons for and against registering as an organ donor. A coding scheme was developed, and responses were coded by two trained coders. In line with previous work in adult samples, our results revealed the three most common reasons for registering were prosocial benefits, rational arguments, and personal experience. In contrast to previous work among adults, the two most common reasons for not registering were bodily integrity and religious reasons. Several novel beliefs among teenagers that were both supportive and non-supportive of organ donor registration were identified. Findings from the current study are discussed with an emphasis on implications for practitioners working to promote organ donor registration among teenage audiences.
- organ donation
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