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Exploring how residential mobility and migration influences teenage pregnancy in five rural communities in California: youth and adult perceptions.

  • Author(s): Lara, Diana
  • Decker, Martha J
  • Brindis, Claire D
  • et al.
Abstract

Teenage birth rates among young people aged 15-19 years in California, USA, have declined from 47 births per 1000 in 2000 to 24 per 1000 in 2013. Nevertheless, the US counties with the highest teenage birth rates are predominantly rural and have a high proportion of Latinos/as. We conducted 42 interviews with key stakeholders and 12 focus groups with 107 young people in five rural communities to better understand local migration patterns and their influence on intermediate and proximate variables of pregnancy, such as interaction with role models and barriers to access contraception. The migration patterns identified were: residential mobility due to seasonal jobs, residential mobility due to economic and housing changes and migration from other countries to California. These patterns affect young people and families' interactions with school and health systems and other community members, creating both opportunities and barriers to prevent risky sexual behaviours. In rural areas, residential mobility and migration to the USA interconnect. As a result, young people dually navigate the challenges of residential mobility, while also adapting to the dominant US culture. It is important to promote programmes that support the integration of immigrant youth to reduce their sense of isolation, as well as to assure access to sexual health education and reproductive health services.

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