Biomedical Sciences ETDs


Brenda Pereda

Publication Date



Background Adolescent Latina mothers are at high risk of rapid repeat pregnancy with poor economic, educational and health outcomes. Identifying barriers to use of the most effective contraception—long acting reversible contraceptives (LARC)—in adolescent Latino parents may help in the development of strategies to reduce unintended pregnancy in this high risk group. Objectives Primary Aim: • To identify the barriers to use of LARC by Latina adolescent mothers. Secondary Aims • Understand the context of contraceptive conversations and decision making. • Explain factors that influence contraceptive adoption and adherence. • Explore the Latino adolescent males perspective on contraception. Methods A sequential, qualitative approach was used. Data collection included a total of seven focus group sessions four with Latina adolescent mothers (n=20) and three with Latino adolescent fathers (n=9) until thematic saturation was reached. Self- identified Latino parenting adolescents aged 15-24 were recruited using radio advertisement, posted flyers, and personal community engagement. A question guide was developed with input from national experts and pilot tested with Latino adolescent fathers and mothers. Transcripts were reviewed independently by the research team and led to the development of a coding scheme. Coding was conducted by two separate coders and confirmed by a third auditor. Results Themes surrounding barriers to LARC use by Latina adolescent mothers include: lack of knowledge about LARC, fear surrounding 'the procedure-device in the body,' discontinuation of a LARC due to side effects, minimal dialogue about contraception use with partners, and misconceptions about LARC. Themes surrounding the Latino male's perspective include: distrust of contraceptive effectiveness, lack of access to contraceptive information and primary concern for STI rather than pregnancy prevention. Both groups voiced a desire to avoid unplanned pregnancy but 'the heat of the moment' outweighed the risk. Factors involved in adoption and adherence of a LARC method include a 'pain free' procedure with minimal side effects. Participants had a favorable concept of LARC methods when reassurance about safety was offered by a friend. They cited desire to use peer to peer education in a community setting using local culture to create strategies to educate young Latinos about successful LARC use. Conclusions Latino adolescent parents expressed the need to use effective contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy. A community peer-to-peer health promoter model was most acceptable to adolescent Latino parents to create culturally compatible contraceptive education interventions.




The Society of Family Planning

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Helitzer, Deborah

Second Committee Member

Espey, Eve

Third Committee Member

Singh, Rameet