Online Program

Attitudes, beliefs and knowledge about sex and contraception among Rural Latinos

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Arlette Chávez, Center for Advancing Latino Health, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
A. Paula Cupertino, PhD, Department of Preventive Medicine, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Romina Barral, MD, Adolescent Medicine, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO
Background: Pregnancy rates for Latino teens in rural Kansas are three times higher than the rate for White non-Hispanics of the same age group. The development of culturally and linguistically tailored pregnancy prevention intervention is a public health priority.

Objective: Identify attitudes and knowledge about contraception and sex to inform the development of a culturally sensitive intervention to address pregnancy among Latino adolescents in rural areas.

Methods: Latino adolescents aged 15-24 years residing in rural areas were recruited to complete an anonymous self-administered survey.  Knowledge and attitudes about contraceptive use, pregnancy and sex were assessed using the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Results: Eighty two participants (M-age=17.31; SD=2.05) completed the survey (50% female). Most participants reported Catholic religious affiliation (72%), more than half are originally from Mexico, uninsured and living in the USA for over 10 years. While most participants completed at least one sexual education session [64.5%], sessions were largely focused on abstinence. Approximately one third of participants were sexually active, the majority reported having never received sexual health care (81.7%).  Knowledge of contraceptives was limited to condom and pills. Overall, participants had a positive attitude about the use of birth control (85%).

Conclusions: Latino teens in rural Kansas have limited access to reproductive healthcare and education thru educational or health care systems. These findings likely contribute to the high rates of unplanned pregnancy in this region and underscore the need for a culturally-relevant community-based pregnancy prevention strategy to reduce disparities in this disadvantaged youth.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify attitudes, beliefs and knowledge about sex and contraception among Rural Latino youth to inform future teen pregnancy prevention in this underprivileged population

Keyword(s): Teen Pregnancy, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm a medical student from Mexico currently doing my last year of medical school at Kansas University Medical Center at JUNTOS Center for Advancing Latino Health where I'm involved in research projects involving Latin population, specially with the topic of 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.