203300 Pregnancy & Fatherhood: What 18-25 year old African American & Puerto Rican Men Have to Say

Monday, November 9, 2009

Amy Cassidy , Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA
Dare Henry Moss , Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA
Linda Hock Long , Research Department, Family Planning Council, Philadelphia, PA
Little is known about the pregnancy desires or intentions of inner-city, minority, emerging adults. In an attempt to address this critical gap in the public health literature, the childbearing and fatherhood attitudes and experiences of African American and Puerto Rican heterosexual men, ages 18-25 were examined as part of a five year, mixed-methods research project, PHRESH.comm, conducted in two US cities (Philadelphia & Hartford).

An exploration of PHRESH.comm based on male participant data [focus groups (n=23), sexual life history interviews (n=120), coital diaries (n=70)] revealed several important themes. A substantial proportion of participants: have an optimistic attitude toward having children, particularly with their serious partners; feel a strong sense of responsibility toward current and future children; and place a strong emphasis on becoming “settled” before having children, as well as eventual marriage. The data also indicated males had a strong desire to be good fathers and were disparaged by the stereotype that low-income, minority men provide little or no financial support for their children or as “not-marriageable” men. These findings illustrate the need for public health research to conduct abundant examinations of male desire for children in order to increase understanding of pregnancy intention among inner-city emerging adults.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe male attitudes and desires for childbearing and fatherhood. 2. Identify the normative, cultural and conceptual beliefs of African American and Puerto Rican 18-25 year old men regarding the timing of pregnancy and children. 3. Discuss the desired life trajectory for fatherhood and marriage of African American and Puerto Rican 18-25 year old men.

Keywords: Pregnancy, Male Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research Project Manager for past 7 years in family planning and reproductive health.
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.