246971 What drive pregnancy intentions among Latino youth?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:10 AM

Genevieve Martinez-Garcia, PhD , Healthy Teen Network, Baltimore, MD
Nancy Atkinson, PhD , National Cancer Institute, Consultant, Takoma Park, MD
Olivia Carter-Pokras, PhD , Deaprtment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
Sunmin Lee, ScD, MPH , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Barry Portnoy, PhD , Office of Disease Prevention, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Robin Sawyer, PhD , Department of Community and Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Candace Kattar , Identity, Gaithersburgh, MD
Soraya Galeas , Health Education and Community Outreach, Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington, Washington, DC
One out of two Latina adolescents becomes pregnant before the age of 20, leaving many to wonder whether these pregnancies are intended or the result of a complex social environment. To identify the demographic and social factors that affect pregnancy intentions we developed and administered a survey to 949 Latino male and female youths in one Mid Atlantic community. The survey included a newly developed pregnancy wantedness scale (PWS) that assessed pregnancy attitudes, and demographic, social and acculturation variables. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the correlation between social and demographic variables to the PWS score. The sample was split into four mutually exclusive groups based on gender and sexual experience.

Although each youth group had different factors associated with pregnancy wantedness, living with a mother, having higher levels of acculturation, having lower levels of religiosity, being a lawful citizen or resident, and having a mother with higher education level were associated with lower levels of pregnancy wantedness. Protective behavior, such as contraception use, was not significantly associated to pregnancy wantedness in most groups.

This study suggests that external social factors hard to modify play an important role in youth's pregnancy wantedness. Education programs to reducing Latino teen birth must pay attention to personal differences based on gender and the sexual experience of youth. Also, they must address external social factors that youth's are not able to control, such as their integration into the American society, parental education or living arrangements.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare the factors associated to teen pregnancy between males and females depending on their level of sexual experience. Describe the concepts measured by the Pregnancy Wantedness Scale

Keywords: Teen Pregnancy, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an experienced researcher in the field of adoelscent 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.