The power of culture and context on Hispanic/Latina teen pregnancy and birth in Oklahoma: provider and parental perspectives

Soc Work Health Care. 2018 Nov-Dec;57(10):890-905. doi: 10.1080/00981389.2018.1514351. Epub 2018 Sep 5.


Objective: To explore cultural-contextual factors that impact the high rate of Hispanic/Latina teen pregnancy in Oklahoma from the perspective of providers and parents.

Methods: Community Based Participatory Research at the Latino Community Development Agency in Oklahoma City; focus groups and in-depth interviews; 33 service providers and 14 Hispanic/Latino parents.

Results: (a) The value of respect among Hispanic/Latino families is a risk factor for unplanned teen pregnancy. (b) Contextual aspects (i.e. local ideology, Mexican media, underfunded schools, permissive law enforcement in bars, lack of bilingual providers) place Hispanic/Latina female adolescents at greater risk of unplanned pregnancy. (c) Gender roles perpetuate inequality and deepen Hispanic/Latina females' vulnerability to unplanned pregnancy.

Conclusions: In addition to currently implemented communication tools and parenting skills to talk with adolescents about sexual health topics, interventions need to consider preferences that may be rooted in cultural aspects that could hinder the application of learned skills.

Keywords: Adolescent Pregnancy; Culture/Context; Gender Roles; Hispanic/Latina; Respect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Hispanic or Latino* / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Oklahoma / epidemiology
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / ethnology*
  • Sexual Behavior / ethnology
  • Young Adult