Parent Involvement Needed to Curb Hispanic Teen Birth Rates

| by News Medical Net
Hispanics are predicted to make up 25% of the teenage population nationwide by 2025 and efforts to curb their teen pregnancy rate is key to reducing unwanted pregnancies among all teenagers, according to the McClatchy/Herald. More than half of Hispanic teenage girls will become pregnant before age 20 -- nearly twice the national average and the highest of any ethnic or racial group in the U.S., according to coalition, which includes MANA, a national Hispanic women's organization."

Ana Sol Gutierrez, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and a participant in the coalition, said the higher pregnancy rates among Hispanic teenagers can be attributed in part to a "different mind-set" among the group that embraces motherhood even at a young age. She said the key to reducing unplanned teenage pregnancies among Hispanics is to educate them about choosing "when and how" to become parents, while still embracing maternity.

The National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy surveyed more than 1,600 Hispanic teenagers and adults nationwide and found that 76% of teens said their parents most influenced their decisions about sex but that most parents said they did not know how to have such a conversation with their children. The finding was particularly evident among parents who only speak Spanish. Ruthie Flores, a co-author of the study, said the solution is culturally appropriate education.