Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Ankeny

Second Advisor

Susan I. O'Connor


Across the nation we are experiencing very high numbers of teen pregnancies within the Latino community. Time is of the essence, with schools and communities finding themselves increasingly overwhelmed with questions on how to address this issue. This research project identified some of the major risk and protective factors specific to teen pregnancy in the Latino community, some of the key behaviors and beliefs that make teen pregnancy in the Latino community a complex matter, and recommendations for educators/youth workers who encounter this circumstance in their own work. Research for this project was gained via in-depth interviews with four research participants, all who identified as Latina and parenting. One of the key findings from this research project was the unbalanced situation where the risk factors (ambivalence about the use of contraception, parent-adolescent communication, family cycle of teen pregnancy, lack of commitment by teen fathers, an older partner, and lower graduation rates and educational attainment) outweighed the protective factors (family support, access to resources and connection to school, and successes as teen mothers) in the lives of the research participants; which ultimately, proved to put them at risk for negative outcomes like teen pregnancy in the adolescent years. This is an area of recommendation for future study, as the research on protective factors that buffer against teen pregnancy is not as well documented as the research on risk factors that contribute to this circumstance.


SC 11.MAE.2013.Decker.LNB