Youth Sexual Behaviors, Contraceptive Use, and Pregnancy in Urban Neighborhoods

Andrea Collado, Universidad de Costa Rica
Rhina Caceres, Universidad de Costa Rica

A growing body of new research has demonstrated that neighborhoods may affect many aspects of teen's growth and development, including sexual behavior. This study examines the role of the different urban neighborhoods on risky adolescent behavior, focus on initial age of sexual activity, pre-marital sex, failure to use contraception and teen pregnancy. It proposes to do a comparison between urban areas of Costa Rica and El Salvador in Central America and Los Angeles, United States. Data for Los Angeles came from Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study, 2000. The information from Costa Rica and El Salvador were recently collected (year 2003), following LA.FANS questionnaires models and methodology. The research hypothesis assumes that teens who receive less attention and support from their families and also live in neighborhoods with high turnover rates, where few neighbors know each other, and have poorer infrastructure are more likely to engage in sexually risky behaviors.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements