Preventing unintended repeat births to Hispanic adolescents

Are postpartum long-acting reversible contraceptives (PPLARC) a culturally and developmentally appropriate strategy to reduce unplanned repeat births among Latina teenage mothers?

Teen childbearing is intricately related to educational, economic, and health inequality, and is a mechanism by which such inequalities are transmitted to the next generation. While the overall teen birth rate declined by 51 percent from 1990-2010, repeat teen births fell only 23 percent in that period. Estimates are that 84%-100% of the recent decline in teen births is attributable to improved contraceptive use by teens, but these strategies have largely failed to reduce repeat births. Latina teens have the highest rates of first and repeat births of all racial/ethnic groups, and there is a critical need to understand and improve contraceptive use among Latina teen mothers who wish to prevent repeat births. Maslowsky will examine how the composition of the national Latino repeat teen mother population has shifted over the past 2 decades, specifically by looking at their current health and contraceptive use profile. The research will also highlight the prenatal predictors of PPLARC utilization among Latino teens, as well as the social and environmental influences on Latino teens’ contraceptive choices. This correlational study examines birth certificate data from the US Natality Files, which represents essentially all US births, from 1990-2014, state representative cross-sectional surveys of postpartum mothers. The longitudinal piece of the study follows postpartum Latina mothers in Texas for 24 months following the target birth, and consists of in-depth semi-structured interviews with Latina teens in their third trimester of pregnancy and three months postpartum, as well as interviews with their mothers and partners. With mentoring from Joseph Potter and Nancy Gonzales, Maslowsky will expand her knowledge of the cultural bases of health behavior in Latino populations, as well as her knowledge of inequality, stratification, and intersectionality.

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