School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

A Lack of Motivation and Guidance During High School Years Contributes to the High Teen Pregnancy Rates in Cordoba, Argentina

Poster Number

229

Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

3-2016

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors contributing the high teen pregnancy rates in Cordoba, Argentina. According to UNICEF, Latin America has the highest percentage of live births to adolescent mothers (18%) compared to the world’s average (13%) and the rate has continued to increase in Argentina in recent years (11.9% to 12.4%) (UNICEF, 2007) . A unique element to Argentina is that all education, including graduate school, and health care is free. Thus, the study aimed to address the following question: if education and health care is free, what resources did these women lack that contributed to such high teen pregnancy rates? Ninety-eight women older than 18 years old at Hospital Maternidad in Cordoba, Argentina were interviewed using a 7-minute questionnaire to analyze the high teen pregnancy rates. While a majority of the women came from low socioeconomics, did not complete high school, and had difficulty getting to the hospital with transportation, another contributing component involved the lack of guidance in school during their teenage years. Meaning, that when asked “What are your dreams?” and “What are your hobbies?” a majority of the women could not provide an answer, said “I don’t have one”, or said “To clean the house.” After further discussion, they shared that no one asked them what their dreams were when they were in high school and that they were never pushed to think of future plans and ambitions. Another finding was that many women received sexual health education during high school, such as birth control, sexually transmitted infections, and safe sex, further suggesting that simply discussing sexual health will not lower teen pregnancy rates, but rather a multidisciplinary approach must be implemented to help guide women in planning their futures. As health care providers, this study highlights the importance of not only educating young women about sexual health, but also broadening one’s approach during health visits to directly address the patient’s future career goals and plans so that they may be inspired, motivated, and supported to pursue a higher education.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Presented at: GW Research Days 2016

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A Lack of Motivation and Guidance During High School Years Contributes to the High Teen Pregnancy Rates in Cordoba, Argentina

The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors contributing the high teen pregnancy rates in Cordoba, Argentina. According to UNICEF, Latin America has the highest percentage of live births to adolescent mothers (18%) compared to the world’s average (13%) and the rate has continued to increase in Argentina in recent years (11.9% to 12.4%) (UNICEF, 2007) . A unique element to Argentina is that all education, including graduate school, and health care is free. Thus, the study aimed to address the following question: if education and health care is free, what resources did these women lack that contributed to such high teen pregnancy rates? Ninety-eight women older than 18 years old at Hospital Maternidad in Cordoba, Argentina were interviewed using a 7-minute questionnaire to analyze the high teen pregnancy rates. While a majority of the women came from low socioeconomics, did not complete high school, and had difficulty getting to the hospital with transportation, another contributing component involved the lack of guidance in school during their teenage years. Meaning, that when asked “What are your dreams?” and “What are your hobbies?” a majority of the women could not provide an answer, said “I don’t have one”, or said “To clean the house.” After further discussion, they shared that no one asked them what their dreams were when they were in high school and that they were never pushed to think of future plans and ambitions. Another finding was that many women received sexual health education during high school, such as birth control, sexually transmitted infections, and safe sex, further suggesting that simply discussing sexual health will not lower teen pregnancy rates, but rather a multidisciplinary approach must be implemented to help guide women in planning their futures. As health care providers, this study highlights the importance of not only educating young women about sexual health, but also broadening one’s approach during health visits to directly address the patient’s future career goals and plans so that they may be inspired, motivated, and supported to pursue a higher education.