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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Here you will find a comprehensive list of the Working Papers for the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). The Institute for Social Science Research is a center for intellectual activity and basic research in the social sciences. We bring together faculty and students from a wide variety of disciplines, from the basic social science disciplines and the more applied programs in the professional schools alike. Our substantive focus is wide-ranging,including projects on the politics of race and ethnicity, poverty, immigration, public policy, social change, mass media, bureaucracy, ethnic identity in university life, and the political party system. Our particular strength lies in large-scale, interdisciplinary, quantitative research, but we welcome many smaller projects as well. A central component of this activity is the training of students to carry out such research, especially in the use of survey research and the secondary analysis of archived datasets.

Cover page of The Sexually Active Mexican Adolescent: A Preliminary Report

The Sexually Active Mexican Adolescent: A Preliminary Report


Adolescent fertility has become identified as a major social problem in the United States; however, little empirical data are available regarding the critical social variables which influence adolescent sexual behavior. While adolescents learn about sexuality from many sources, two major sources that influence adolescent attitudes toward sexual behavior are from persons who form their internal support network--family and peers. The adolescent's family and peers are instrumental in forming the adolescent's knowledge base about reproduc- tion, contraceptive use, and other sexual behavioral variables. The importance and role of these influences can differ when viewed in another cultural context. To date, little is known about differences in sexual behavior among culturally diverse adolescent groups nor what impact acculturation to American values may have in influencing the development of attitudes toward sexual behavior. A community based comparative survey of about 1,000 adolescent females from Los Angeles County was undertaken to examine the similari- ties and differences of sexual behavior and its consequences. The following brief discussion outlines preliminary descriptive find- ings on differences between these sexually active and nonsexually active Mexican-American and Anglo-American adolescents, ages 13 to 19.

Cover page of Contraceptive Knowledge and Intentions Among Latina Teenagers Experiencing Their First Birth

Contraceptive Knowledge and Intentions Among Latina Teenagers Experiencing Their First Birth


This article describes the social context of pregnancy, contraceptive knowlege, past birth control use and plans for future contraception for 233 adolescent women of Mexican origin and/or descent delivering their first child in one of two Los Angeles hospitals. The teenagers described here were part of a larger sample of 518 women interviewed in 1981 and 1982. Although this paper focuses on adolescents, the adult group is briefly discussed for purposes of comparison.