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01-12-2006 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2006

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 6/2006

Reproductive Health of Urban Adolescents: Differences in the Behaviors, Cognitions, and Social Context of African-American and Puerto Rican Females

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 6/2006
Auteurs:
Stephanie Milan, Kathleen Ethier, Jessica Lewis, Trace Kershaw, Linda Niccolai, Jeannette Ickovics
Belangrijke opmerkingen
The authors of this manuscript are part of the Connecticut Women's Health Project, a group with a shared research interest in the reproductive health of vulnerable women.

Abstract

Although ethnic and racial disparities exist in adolescent reproductive health, few studies have examined differences between members of different minority groups. This paper describes differences in measures of reproductive health behaviors, cognitions and social context between African-American (n=170) and Puerto Rican (n=150) adolescent females living in the same communities. After controlling for socioeconomic factors, several racial/ethnic differences emerged. Compared to African-American adolescents, Puerto Rican adolescents reported behaviors (e.g., increased sexual activity, less use of contraception), cognitions (e.g., more negative attitudes about condoms, less negative feelings about pregnancy), peer influences (e.g., more pregnancy amongst peers, less peer pressure to use contraception) and family influences (e.g., less parental pressure to use contraception, less importance placed on parental values) that potentially increase their risk for negative reproductive health outcomes, particularly adolescent pregnancy. These differences are important to consider in designing interventions aimed at reducing existing disparities in adolescent reproductive health.

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