Presentation on theme: "At-Risk Female Adolescents and the Factors that Affect their Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors A Qualitative Case Study Student Name Social Science 193 Dr."— Presentation transcript:
At-Risk Female Adolescents and the Factors that Affect their Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors A Qualitative Case Study Student Name Social Science 193 Dr. Jeanett Castellanos
Girls like us are in the clearance bins at half-off thrift stores. Girls like us will let you unlock their bedroom windows at night, And under bleachers and stairwells you can kiss us, And tell us we are beautiful. Open your eyes wider, sweetheart, and try to look earnest. We don't have Valentine cards with our names drowned in red foil glitter. Girls like us will only fog up the windows of your pathetically broken-down sedan, But be easy to get rid of later. Girls like us are perfect For boys like you. I close my eyes, and fall back into my mold while you tighten the rope. The chains around my neck are kept strong, so you can lead me and I'll follow. You tell me what you want from me, and take me where you want to go. I do everything you could ever want. - I dress to impress, I smile to kill. Such a shame that it's not real. My heart breaks, And my smile fakes the emotions that I will never feel. I gravely bear and await the day my guard goes down. And even if you’re not worth it I'll just wear my smile. After all, my life is not so perfect. Author, 17, female at-risk teen
National Statistics 1 in 5 teens have had sex before 15 th b-day A sexually active teen who does NOT use contraception has a 90% chance of pregnancy within one year 14 and under: 20,000 pregnancies, 8,000 births years: 850,000 pregnancies, 450,000 births (National Campaign Publication, 2003). (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1998).
The BIGGER Picture = Problem 34% of all teenage girls in this country will get pregnant at least once before the age of 20!! 78% of teen pregnancies are unintended (National Campaign, 2004)
International Pregnancy and Birth Rates, Teens The United States has much higher teen pregnancy and birth rates than other fully industrialized countries. U.S. teen pregnancy rates are twice as high as rates in Canada and eight times as high as rates in Japan. Unfortunately, We’re #1! UNICEF. (2001).
100 teen girls get pregnant each hour Nearly 1 million teen pregnancies occurred in To put it another way, more than 100 U.S. teens become pregnant each hour. Forty percent of these pregnancies were to girls under age 18, and 60 percent were to girls aged Total: 905, , ,530 24,830 The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (1999). Special report: U.S. teenage pregnancy statistics with comparative statistics for women aged New York: Author.
Who are At-Risk Female Adolescents? years of age Experience chronic school failure Usually attend alternative education (continuation HS) Vulnerable to peer persuasion Family/social environment of abuse, neglect, poverty, dysfunction, or unemployment Usually engage in more “risky” behavior Tendency to prove not fearful of risk (Kagan, 1991).
Problems of At-Risk Teen Sexuality— Individually Peer pressure to have sex “non-voluntary” sexual activity Limited academic success low self-efficacy Early initiation of sex leads to other risk behaviors and consequences
Problems of At-Risk Teen Sexuality— Collectively Teen mothers prone to experience low achievement, poverty, lack of provisions Likewise, have children with behavioral problems “feeds the cycle” 2 nd pregnancy can exacerbate problems of early childbearing
Purpose of Study To investigate the psychological, social, and educational factors that affect the sexual attitudes and behaviors of at-risk female adolescents (PSE model)
Review of the Literature Background Variables Age: “13%- if same age, 26% if partner 2yrs older, 33% if partner 3+ yrs older.” (National Campaign, 2003) Ethnicity: “Black and Hispanic adolescents have higher birthrates than white adolescents.” (Moore, K.A et al., 1998) Socioeconomic Status: “Teens of a lower SES more likely to be sexually active…” (Casper, L., 1990) Family Problems: “Teen pregnancy & parenthood frequent results of family dysfunction.” (Hanson, 1992) “Girls whose mothers gave birth in adolescence also have sex & birth earlier than teens whose mother at least 20 yrs during 1 st pregnancy.” (National Campaign, 2003)
Review of the Literature Psychological Factors Low-cognitive ability: “Young women with low cognitive ability are at increased risk for early initiation of sexual activity and pregnancy” (Shearer, et al., 2002) Self-Motivation: “Individual sexual experiences– including motivation and opportunity to have sex– most prevalent risk factors” (Blum, R.W. et al., 2000) “ academic success, job opportunities, motivation and aspirations sexual activity and pregnancy” (Shearer, et al., 2002)
Review of the Literature Social Factors Social Networks/Dating: “Significant association between dating relationships and sexual activity” (Ibid, D. et al., 1993) Peer Pressure/Acceptance: “Girls’ whose group of close friends is composed primarily (75%+) of high-risk friends is twice as likely to initiate intercourse as girls with mostly low-risk friends.” (Bearman, P. et al., 1999) Family Support: “Adolescents who perceive that they have little parental support and do not communicate well w/ their parents are more likely to be sexually experienced.” (Jessor, S.L. et al., 1972).
Review of the Literature Educational Factors Low academic performance: “Low academic performance associated w/ early sexual initiation and pregnancy.” (Kasen, S. et al., 1998) “9 out of 10 adolescents enrolled in alternative H.S. have already had sex.” (Grunbaum, J.A. et al., 1999). Sex education: “Factors associated w/ recent decline in teen birthrate include parent-child communication, formal sex education programs and engagement in schooling…” (Manlove, J. et al., 2000)
Review of the Literature Gaps in Research Limited studies on “high-risk” adolescents, only teenagers in general– not sufficient in this area Sexual activity of girls in group homes ? Limited stats on perceptions of both parent-teen relationships & communication
Research Questions of Study What personal factors lead at-risk female adolescents to engage in premature sexual activity? P What roles do family, peers, and other social figures play in the daily lives of female adolescents? S What attitudes and perceptions do at-risk female adolescents have towards sex education and teen pregnancy programs? E
Methodology of Study Research Design Qualitative case study Site interaction Observe behaviors & record patterns of meaning Social influences and relationships Triangulation Multiple sites & hours Comparison of data Site Selection Girls, Inc. PAP Based on location, risk, city, times, availability Boys & Girls Club 17 th & Ross Century Day Participants Convenience sample 18 girls (14-19 yrs) Constant and irregular participants
Methodology of Study Background of Participants (18) Ethnicity: 3 Caucasian 12 Latina Mexican, Salvadoran, Cuban, Puerto Rican 3 Asian Vietnamese, Filipino, Samoan Age: 22%-- 15 yrs old 45%-- 16 yrs old 22%-- 17 yrs old 11%-- 18yrs old *questionnaire: Latina (18), White (2), Asian (1) GARD predominately older (17) SANT predominately younger (15)
Methodology of Study Background of Participants (18) Living Arrangement: Dual-parent household -- 5 Single-Parent household -- 4 Group Home -- 4 Extended Family – 3 Friend/Significant other -- 2 Family Income (SES): $0-15, $15,000-30,000 – 4 $30, ,000 – 2 $60,000 or more – 1 Don’t know – 5 Not applicable -- 4 *questionnaire: dual (8) and single (7) -- mom
Methodology of Study Data Collection Participant Interaction Observations Character profiling Extensive Field Notes Quality/relevancy Mapping of interactions Matrices of participants Enumerated moods, activity, participation, unique actions Informal Discussions Voluntary & on-site Few pre-determined Focus Group Demographics (BV’s) Timeline activity Photo Reaction Formal Interviews (2) Key informant and gatekeeper Predetermined and controlled Questionnaires To both consistent & irregular Open-ended, written response *Note: unwillingness w/ “authority,” comfortable w/ group work– opposite of low-risk teens or high school teens not considered “at-risk”
Generations, pre-marital pregnancy, single parent household, teen pregnancy, mother-daughter relations Romantic relationships, partner age, time period of sexual behavior, what is appropriate in public vs. private, values, peers
Methodology of Study Data Analysis Extensive review of field notes & RQ’s Sorting, Coding and Recoding Hi-lighting, circling, underlining, symbols Common variables and patterns Theme Selection Modeling of Relationships Matrix Enumeration & Tallying-- triangulation
Summary of Findings: Background Variables Sexual Activity Age Living Arrangement SES Ethnicity Religion *age at first sex
Summary of Findings: Background Variables If she is sexually active… 16 Latina Dual or group home SES Don’t Know Junior level ed Religion-- Catholic If she is NOT sexually active… 16 Caucasian or Latina Single parent– mom SES $30,000-45,000 Sophomore level ed Religion- Christian
Summary of Findings: Psychological High self-esteem despite situations and sexual behaviors Don’t fear failure “I don’t think it matters how old you are… just as long are you are mature enough to handle sex and if something bad comes out of it… like if you can take care of yourself and the other person… that means pregnancy too.” NOTE, GARD, V, PREG Very aggressive and largely outspoken– not shy or low self-image “I’m very intelligent, social, I like anything to everything. I like to go anywhere in my underwear.” QUEST, GARD, I Even though low academic success, high goals and motivation 93% expressed future ambitions concerning HS graduation, college, profession, or family “Go to a UC after graduating from high school and get a good job and help my parents.” GARD, CY Only 8% did not know or did not have any future goals Opposite of literature for sexually active at-risk teens
Summary of Findings: Psychological *when asked to “describe yourself” in questionnaire
Summary of Findings: Social- Family Lack of parental influence and communication Confide most in sister or relative then parents (see chart) Feel can’t go to parents for many reasons “Oh my gosh, my mom drives me crazy! She always thinks I’m having sex and she doesn’t even believe me when I tell her I’m not… like I’m lying or something! I haven’t even had sex before!” NOTE, CY, VIR, GARD “My mom had me when she was 15… so she knows better than to tell me what to do.” NOTE, TUST, DI Similar Experience– relationship between teen mom and at- risk teen Become teen mother as well… “Yeah, of course I’m gonna keep it… oh, I’m staying with my mom for right now. She said she’s gonna help me… nah, she’s not mad.” – (after telling she’s 4 months pregnant) – 16, anonymous, never came back to class Or, are knowledgeable in sexual activity and consequences “It’s every time you have sex, there’s a chance of getting pregnant. You’re stupid if you don’t know that.” -- 16, Cuban, in single mom household
Social- Family Influence “Who do you go to when you need advice about the following…?” *Parents lack influence over teens; go most to sister or extended relative in a family Result: “Friends” was found most common in all areas – main source of information and influence
Summary of Findings: Social- Peers and Partners Strong Peer Influence At-risk friends and peers influence attitudes toward sex “If you don’t want to have sex, you don’t have to have sex… you should wait anyway until you’re married… like me…er, maybe. I guess it depends on the guy– like if we’re in love or something.” -- (as eyes roll, she changes opinion frequently throughout course) – 16, Caucasian, single household w/ father after mother left, high SES Sense of competition, especially in group homes “Girls are always talking about who they screwed last night… it’s not even a big deal.” , Mexican, group home, unwanted by mother, doesn’t know father Partner Relationships increase premature sexual activity Need to have affection through sex “… that the girl ends up giving up her virginity and has sex anyway… because if she really cares for the guy… she’ll do anything to keep him… she’s scared of losing him… it happens all the time.” NOTE, GARD, ES Especially age at first sex and older partners “I was only 12 years old and this older guy I liked… forced himself onto me… it doesn’t matter anymore…” “…guys always tell me they love me… so sex is easy.” –15, extended household, Salvadoran “I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost a year now… he buys me everything! (giggles) Oh he’s 23… he only does what I want though.” (which later meant everything from massages to oral sex) – 15, single household w/ mom, Mexican
Social Influence Peers “Who do you go to when you need advice about the following…?”
Social Influence Partners “Who do you go to when you need advice about the following…?”
Summary of Findings: Educational Sex education = positive impact on female at-risk teens Especially Girls, Inc. PAP– doesn’t stress abstinence like HS ed Found helpful and influential in sexual attitudes and decisions “I do think it helps because maybe a girl is planning to have sex, but then hear of all that could happen and decide not to. But for the girls like me, who won’t have sex until they get married, it teaches them how to protect themselves when they don’t want to have a baby.” NOTE, GARD, CY, VIR “It makes you think before you do stuff.” NOTE, SANT, anonymous “It gets us aware of things, like diseases.” QUEST, ES, GARD Teens want to know more about sexual consequences “They should teach about what happens after you have a baby.” QUEST, GARD, SA
Educational Influence “Do you think sex education helps?” *Sex education refers to sex ed class in school and pregnancy prevention programs such as Girls, Inc.
Initial Research Model At-Risk Peer Influence Independent Variable DomainDependent Variable Domain Family Support/ Communication Social/Dating Relationships Age at 1 st sex
Final Research Model Female At-Risk Teen Sexual Attitudes & Behaviors Independent Variable DomainDependent Variable Domain Psychological Factors Social Factors Educational Factors NOT COMPLETED YET
Closing Limitations Only one agency with specific sites (gov’t- assigned) Small sample– venture outside of O.C.?? Can’t generalize findings to larger at-risk population Not enough background info/literature on “at-risk” Recommendations Further research of sexual behaviors of at-risk female adolescents & their relationships to family
Closing Implications Sexually experienced = more apt to other “risky” behaviors and consequences Parent(s) should communicate w/ teen about sex and relationships at early age Need more mentorship programs and role models for at-risk teens, esp. in group home environment We still have much to learn about this population!