Unintended Pregnancy among Young Latinos in Rural Areas
Location(s): United States
Latino women are disproportionately at risk for unintended pregnancies. The objective of the proposed research is to increase understanding of unintended pregnancy among rural Latinos by examining determinants of contraceptive use,sexual risk behavior and HIV/STI prevention among young adult Latinos in rural settings. In this grant application, we request support for 4 years to conduct two studies. In Study 1, we will conduct a total of 8-12 key informant interviews and 48-60 in- depth interviews with Latino women and men, as well as 3-6 key informant interviews and 6-8 focus groups with health care providers.
The specific aims of Study 1 are to a) explore what young Latino women and men do to prevent unintended pregnancy; b) identify the personal characteristics, method characteristics, partner and relationship factors, and contextual factors that facilitate or impede the acquisition and use of contraceptives; c) explore the factors that are most likely to influence consistent use of effective contraceptives; d) explore what young Latino women and men do to protect themselves from HIV and STIs; e) identify factors that facilitate or impede the acquisition and use of HIV/STI prevention methods; and f) characterize the influence of gender roles, male involvement, and power differentials in sexual behavior and decision-making. Study 2 will build on the formative research and will include in-person, structured interviews with young (aged 18-25 years) Latinos (250 men, 250 women).
The specific aims of Study 2 are to a) determine which factors - including personal characteristics, method characteristics, relationship/partner factors, and contextual factors - are most strongly associated with acquisition and use of contraceptives; b) determine which factors are most strongly associated with consistent use of effective contraceptives; and c) determine which factors are most strongly associated with sexual risk and protective behavior. Findings will have important implications for the development of public health programs and interventions that will ultimately lead to the reduction of unintended pregnancy among young Latinos by improving contraceptive use, reducing sexual risk taking, and improving the delivery of reproductive health services.