Native Teen Voices: Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Recommendations

Ann E Garwick, Kristine L. Rhodes, Melanie Peterson-Hickey, Wendy L Hellerstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: American Indian adolescent pregnancy rates are high, yet little is known about how Native youth view primary pregnancy prevention. The aim was to identify pregnancy prevention strategies from the perspectives of both male and female urban Native youth to inform program development. Methods: Native Teen Voices (NTV) was a community-based participatory action research study in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Twenty focus groups were held with 148 Native youth who had never been involved in a pregnancy. Groups were stratified by age (13-15 and 16-18 years) and sex. Participants were asked what they would do to prevent adolescent pregnancy if they were in charge of programs for Native youth. Content analyses were used to identify and categorize the range and types of participants' recommendations within and across the age and sex cohorts. Results: Participants in all cohorts emphasized the following themes: show the consequences of adolescent pregnancy; enhance and develop more pregnancy prevention programs for Native youth in schools and community-based organizations; improve access to contraceptives; discuss teen pregnancy with Native youth; and use key messages and media to reach Native youth. Conclusions: Native youth perceived limited access to comprehensive pregnancy prevention education, community-based programs and contraceptives. They suggested a variety of venues and mechanisms to address gaps in sexual health services and emphasized enhancing school-based resources and involving knowledgeable Native peers and elders in school and community-based adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives. A few recommendations varied by age and sex, consistent with differences in cognitive and emotional development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a collaborative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (S2088). We gratefully acknowledge the contributions made to the conduct of this study by Justin Huenemann, Shawnee Hunt, and Carrie Owen.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adolescence
  • American Indian
  • Native American
  • Primary pregnancy prevention

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