244009 MOM Empowerment: To reduce repeat pregnancies among vulnerable young mothers

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Prasanthi Patel, BS , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Carina Douglas , SF Department of Public Health, Hawkins Youth Clinic, San Francisco, CA
H.R. Bremner, MSW , SF Department of Public Health, Hawkins Youth Clinic, San Francisco, CA
Patti Herring, PhD, RN , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Risky sexual behavior, lack of knowledge, and undesirable role models at an early age can contribute to spikes in teenage pregnancies, and high rates of high school drop outs, particularly for young women living in low-income housing in San Francisco, CA. Surrounded by dangerous turf lines, reduced access and poor quality health care, limited career development skills, and negative emotional support, young women are exponentially vulnerable to repeat pregnancies and a lack of personal achievement. This program seeks to include innovative collaboration and community building to reduce risky sexual behavior among the most vulnerable. To inform program development, qualitative research methods included a targeted needs and assets assessment through windshield surveys, literature reviews, observations, and interviews based on the health belief model. Data were coded, themed and analyzed using Grounded Theory methods. Results indicated that young women lack familial support, skills to find, apply for, and retain a job, and lack the self-efficacy to succeed beyond the Projects. Program suggestions included a parent-child support group, job skill seminars, and a one-stop resource center for women. A pilot program was then developed and implemented over eight weeks in a safe and local facility with access to free child-care. The evaluation tool uniquely included a cumulative service-learning project empowering the participants to develop an artistic video as an effective tool to educate and break the cycle of teen pregnancies. Results of the pilot program including impact and process evaluation will be discussed with lessons learned in light of program sustainability.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify community-associated risk factors contributing to teenage pregnancies. 2. Name two strengths, two opportunities, and/or two challenges facing young women living in communities of need. 3. Explain how service-learning projects can impact sexual health for young women of need.

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Low-Income

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I am an MPH student with extensive experience working with young women in low-income communities around 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.