While teen pregnancy rates in the United States have been falling since 1990, teen birth and pregnancy rates among Latinas have risen to almost twice the national average and are higher than any other major ethnic/racial minority group. In addition, Latino youth are at higher risk of engaging in early sexual behaviors that can lead to negative health, academic, and social outcomes.
EDC and its partners are implementing and evaluating More than a Dream/Más que un sueño, which consists of two developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically relevant interventions:
- ¡Cuídate! is a youth curriculum that uses cultural beliefs to frame both abstinence and condom use as effective ways to prevent pregnancy and STIs, including HIV/AIDS.
- Salud y éxito helps parents monitor and set rules, communicate proactively about the importance of delayed sexual initiation, and support youth throughout their teen years.
More than a Dream/Más que un sueño is being implemented and evaluated in four cities with particularly high rates of teen pregnancy: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Miami, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri.
The implementation and evaluation of More than a Dream/Más que un sueño includes:
- Recruiting, enrolling, and retaining Latino families in a health-related study
- Implementing youth workshops and the parent education program for Latino families
- Evaluating the effectiveness of these two interventions in reducing risky sexual behaviors
- Developing local capacity to engage Latino families in teen pregnancy prevention efforts
- To date, the project has recruited and enrolled over 1,300 Latino families across the four cities.
- The results of this evaluation will help determine best practices in reducing sexual and other risk behaviors among Latino youth. They will also help enhance the knowledge base about effective pregnancy prevention programs for communities in need. The results, which look promising, are presently being analyzed.