Teen pregnancy and neighborhood norms: Connecting ethnic isolation and teen birth rates among Massachusetts Latinas
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
: 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Latinas demonstrate high teen pregnancy rates in comparison to most other racial and ethnic groups. This may be partially due to cultural norms that place a high value on early pregnancy and motherhood, with high levels of support and social acceptance for pregnant teens. In order to develop effective interventions for decreasing Latina teen pregnancy rates, it is critical to understand the extent to which demographic and cultural mechanisms lead to acceptance of teen pregnancy as normal and even desirable. This study investigates the hypothesis that ethnic isolation impacts teen pregnancy rates by examining the relationship between teen birth rates, ethnic population concentration, and ethnic isolation. For the purposes of this study, ethnic concentration is measured by the proportion of each census tract that is Latino. Ethnic isolation is measured using Massey and Denton's isolation index, which represents the likelihood that minority members only regularly interact with one another. This study focuses on Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Lawrence, the four Massachusetts cities with the largest Latino populations, using data obtained from birth certificates and the 2010 U.S. Census to develop multivariate regression models correlating teen birth rates and ethnic concentration or isolation. Preliminary results indicate that there is a correlation between ethnic concentration and teen birth rates at the zip code level, supporting the hypothesis that geographically concentrated Latino populations are more likely to create environments amenable to teen pregnancy. Further disentangling these relationships will support the development of effective community-based public health interventions for reducing Latina teen pregnancy rates.
Diversity and culture
Identify Latino cultural values that may lead to acceptance of teen pregnancy as normal and even desirable.
Compare how ethnic concentration and ethnic isolation impact Latina teen birth rates.
Keyword(s): Teen Pregnancy, Latinas
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-investigator of a federally funded grant focusing on the prevention of pregnancy among Puerto Rican teens. Among my scientific interests is examining the effects of neighborhoods on health, social, and economic outcomes.
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.