Latina Adolescent Childbearing in East Los Angeles

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Preventing teen pregnancy has become a national goal, but a one-size-fits-all strategy for achieving it may never be found. Because varying social and cultural factors lead to pregnancy among different ethnic/class groups, understanding these factors is essential in designing pregnancy prevention programs that work. This book explores the factors that lead to childbearing among Latina adolescents. Pamela Erickson draws on both quantitative data and case histories to trace the pathways to motherhood for Latina teens. After situating her study within current research on teen pregnancy, she looks specifically at teen mothers enrolled in programs at Women's Hospital in East L.A. She describes the teens' relationships to their babies' fathers and their own families and discusses how these relationships affect whether teen mothers want to become pregnant, their use of prenatal, postpartum, and family planning services, and their ability to prevent a repeat pregnancy. Erickson describes culturally appropriate intervention efforts and assesses the limitations of prevention programs in institutional settings such as schools and clinics.