Online Program

Teen pregnancy in hot spots: Youth's perception of future opportunities in communities with elevated and declining teen birth rates

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:54 a.m. - 9:06 a.m.

Diana Lara, MD, MS., Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, Institute for Health Policy Studies, San Francisco, CA
Abigail Arons, MPH, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Leah Maddock, MPH, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Mara Decker, DrPH, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Claire Brindis, Dr. P.H, M.P.H., University of California, San Francisco, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health /PRL Institute for Health Policy Studies, San Francisco, CA
Cross-sectional and prospective studies exploring the effect of youth aspirations and opportunities on teen outcomes report mixed results. Some studies show that higher desire or likelihood to attend college and higher positive life expectations increase the risk of sexual initiation, while others find the opposite effect. Moreover, youth perception of lack of resources for education increases the risk for teen pregnancy. To better understand the influence of college aspirations and future expectations on teen pregnancy, we conducted a qualitative study in 10 communities in California with elevated and declining teen birth rates. We convened 22 focus groups—12 in rural areas and 10 in urban areas—in four counties. A total of 186 youth 14–18 years old participated in our focus groups, 84 male and 102 female. Data were analyzed with Atlas.ti 7 using a grounded theory approach. Preliminary analyses show that youth perceived scarce educational, recreational, and employment opportunities in their communities. Common themes across communities—both with elevated and declining teen birth rates—were high frequency of unemployment, limited higher education opportunities and two-and four-year college discontinuation. However, youth from rural areas perceived fewer opportunities to attend and complete college and to obtain a satisfactory job compared with youth from urban areas. Male and female youth associated teen pregnancy with apathy for contraceptive use, and lack of opportunities in their communities. Programs need to improve youth access to educational and employment opportunities and motivate them to have a proactive attitude toward teen pregnancy prevention.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the possible mechanisms through which college aspiration and future expectations impact teen pregnancy in communities with elevated or declining teen birth rates in California Identify the structural and cultural barriers that youth face to continuing postsecondary education and/or obtaining jobs. Compare the differences in life expectations and educational resources between female and male youth, in elevated vs. declining teen birth rates communities, and in urban vs. rural communities This abstract is submitted as part of a pre-arranged panel entitled California Hot Spot study: insights into neighborhood level factors associated with teen pregnancy

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted quantitative and qualitative studies focusing on women’s attitudes and experiences obtaining safe abortion services, emergency contraception and STIs prevention methods in Latin American countries. I have also conducted research on access to reproductive health services among adults and youth Latinas in the United States.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.