Teen pregnancy has become an epidemic issue within the Hispanic/ Latino community in the U.S. High reaching numbers of teen pregnancy is affecting the adolescents and their family. According to the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, the issue of teen pregnancy is conspicuous in the Hispanic community that by the age of twenty, 1 in 3 young girls will be pregnant (NARAL, 2017). An adolescent who is pregnant between ages 13 to 19 is considered a teen pregnancy (NARAL, 2017). Aspects of the Hispanic/ Latino culture plays an important role in why many Latinas are experiencing pregnancy at a young age.
By becoming pregnant young Latinas feel they will gain respect from their families and communities because their culture may encourage motherhood as the best option for young teenage women (NARAL, 20017) but this can be a misconception. The NARAL foundation, discussed an approach made by advocates to restrain teens from sex by holding back sex ed from schools, it was believed that programs that promoted abstinence would have been a successful approach to address the issue (NARAL, 2017).
Unfortunately, the Latino community lacks of medical services, sufficient sex ed and does not have enough access to resources, contributing to why this ethnic population has been experiencing high rates of teen pregnancy (NARAL, 2017). I will discuss teenage pregnancy in the context of parent-child relationships and home environment on their role in pregnancy outcomes.The parent-child relationship are important factors when examining teen pregnancy. If there is a lack of communication between parents and their children it may have an impact in adolescent pregnancy.
An ethnographic study and a series of qualitative interviews were made by Kartmann, K, et al., (2016) to conduct information regarding the expectations and values Mexican mothers had for their daughters concerning their sex life. The study received eleven informants, who included, 5 mothers, 4 teenage girls and 2 teenage boys, however, this study only collected information from mothers and daughters (Kartmann et al., 2016). Researchers were able to conduct good valued information after meeting up with the 5 families interviewed 4 times. The results revealed that in fact there are challenges faced by parents when communicating with their children about sex. Mothers themselves may have not experienced good communication with their parents about sex as adolescents, which contributes in why it has been perceived as an obstacle to discuss freely among adolescents (Kartmann et al., 2016).
Findings identified a communication barrier between teens and their parents, the topic of sex is frequently avoided by parents that sometimes with a simple cuidate teens are expected to interpret this message as unsaid implication (Kartmann et al., 2016). After reading the study, it is clear that the lack of communication between adolescents and parents in the Latino community may be particularly influenced by the history of sexual conversation that has existed among the families. This suggest that some Latinos predominantly silence over the discussion of sexual activity due to embarrassment, including, lack of confidence among both the adolescent and parents to be open about sex. However, when Latina mothers do speak of sex with their daughters they try discouraging them from being sexually active by emphasizing on the risks (Kartmann et al., 2016). Poor parent-child communication in the Latino community plays a role in why teen pregnancy has become an epidemic issue. Therefore, if there is a lack of communication between parents and their children it may eventually lead to a poor home environment and creates a lack of support. The home environment is more than likely to change when an adolescent is facing childbearing. These changes and conflicts may occur due to the impact families will encounter within their parent-child relationship. An interview was conducted by East, P, et al., (2013) to study the growth of stress that occurs within Mexican families caused by teen pregnancy. This study conducted a sample of one hundred and eighty-eighth families which included 93 families that had not faced any adolescent childbearing and 95 families that did (East et al. 2013).
Results indicated that teenage pregnancy rises conflict and behaviors among adolescent and their nuclear family (East et al., 2013). In this study it was found that parents, in particular mothers treat their other children with a stricter parenting style (East et al., 2013), change in behavior is expected from parents due to them wanting a different outcome for them. Adjusting to an adolescent’s pregnancy can be challenging not only for the adolescent themselves but for their family as well. Along with the transition into motherhood, families may experience some disruption such as a lack of equilibrium (East et al, 2013), due to teens not necessarily being financially stable their families become more or less their support.