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Latino Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project

The Issue

By 2025, Latino youth will account for 60 percent of the youth population in California (Clark, 2000; California Department of Finance, 1998). Considerable pressure has been placed on educational and health care systems to address the particular needs of this population. A major issue of concern is the high rate of teen births among Latino youth. This rate is higher than that of any other racial/ethnic group. Nationally, the birth rate for Latina teens is twice that of non-Latino whites. In California, Latina adolescents are four times as likely to become parents as whites. The research community has only recently focused its attention on the reasons for teen parenthood among Latino youth. Little is known about how to assist young Latinos to delay parenthood, or to aid young parents to prevent or postpone additional teen births.

What Has ANR Done?

The Latino Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project of the UC ANR Adolescence Workgroup has aimed to increase our knowledge of how to help Latino teen parents procure the assistance they need to improve their lives and the lives of their children. This project has also sought to learn what factors are crucial to increasing the odds that teens will delay the birth of a second child until they are better equipped to handle the additional responsibilities and burdens. Efforts have included a comprehensive review of the research literature on effective teen pregnancy prevention, surveys of 35 pregnancy prevention practitioners throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley, and visits to 12 local teen pregnancy prevention programs in the San Francisco Bay Area -- including schools, health care agencies, and community-based organizations.

The Payoff

Best Practices in Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Efforts of the Latino Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project have culminated in the development of a handbook for community practitioners which is designed to enhance program content and delivery. The Best Practices in Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Practitioner Handbook has been widely distributed to schools, community-based organizations, health agencies, and statewide partners through county-wide teen pregnancy prevention coalitions and national conferences. Over 230 copies of the handbook have been distributed throughout the nation. A vast proportion has been provided to California pregnancy prevention practitioners who work with Latino teens. The handbook’s utility is evidenced in its use as criteria to award local grants by the San Mateo County Pregnancy Prevention Network. Workgroup members have also used the handbook to partner with and assist six teen pregnancy prevention programs in California to deliver improved services by incorporating these “best practices.” In so doing, the Latino Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project has addressed ANR’s historic responsibility to respond to contemporary needs in California with effective, science-based information.


Supporting Unit: UC Davis - Department of Human and Community Development

Michael S. Brockman, Research Associate
4-H Center for Youth Development
Department of Human and Community Development
University of California, One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-9692 Fax: (530) 754-8440
Email: msbrockman@ucdavis.edu