While research shows that delaying childbearing can reduce the risk of poverty, Latinos are particularly vulnerable because of high rates of poverty and teen childbearing.
In an effort to identify promising approaches to reduce early childbearing among Latino adolescents, a team of social scientists at Child Trends used multiple research methods, including research studies, a focus group, interviews and analyses of national data bases, to identify major findings for teen pregnancy prevention for Latinos.
The brief indicated that a majority of Latinos value education and teen mothers do not intend to become pregnant. Another finding shows that more programs need to specifically target Latino teens. Research shows that effective programs help align teens’ sexual and contraceptive behavior with their educational and life goals, but few intervention programs specifically target Latinos.
Additionally, programs for Latinos need to be culturally relevant, in the sense that the discussion around teen dating and sex in Latino families can create tension. Thus, programs need to be culturally sensitive and address the concerns of both Latino teens and parents to be effective.
The report also illustrates that responsible teen sexual behavior can be reinforced through positive relationships among parents, peers and partners where communication can clarify values, be respectful and set limits.
Lastly, access to accurate information on sex and contraceptives and the safety and effectiveness of varied methods with a focus on long-acting reversible contraceptives can give Latinos greater control over their sexual and reproductive lives.
Data sources for the report include the Pew Research Hispanic Center, The Brookings Institution and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Child Trends is a nonprofit research center that studies children at all stages of development, in an effort to improve the lives and prospects of children and youth.