Problem or Blessing: Language and Communications used to address Adolescent Pregnancy in rural Costa Rica (Problema o bendición: lenguaje y comunicación sobre el embarazo adolescente en la Costa Rica rural) Open Access

Chaiklin, Charlotte Hart (2015)

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The institutional globalized discourse used by public health organizations has defined adolescent pregnancy as a serious health problem. This view of adolescent pregnancy is reflected in an initiative by Salud Mesoamérica 2015 (SM2015) to prevent such phenomenon in rural Costa Rica. This study focuses on the discourses used to discuss adolescent pregnancy by both SM2015 and its target population, the adolescent mothers of rural Costa Rica. Through the analysis of the texts used by SM2015 and the responses of 13 surveyed adolescent mothers, two main discourses were identified, the modern institutional and the popular traditional. These two systems of discourse were shown to propose two different narratives of adolescent pregnancy. While the institutional discourse illustrated adolescent pregnancy as a problem, the traditional discourse, as represented in a small sample of SM2015's target population in one rural area of Costa Rica, appeared to validate adolescent pregnancy, at least after age 15, as a means of achieving higher social status due to the cultural importance of motherhood. It was found that SM2015 does not appear to acknowledge this traditional discourse and the view of adolescent pregnancy it proposes. Consideration of this popular discourse does not appear to figure in SM2015's communication strategies. This omission causes ineffective communication between SM2015 and its target population, the adolescents of rural Costa Rica, and ultimately, impedes the efforts of SM2015 to change the sexual behavior of Costa Rican adolescents.

Table of Contents

  • Introducción p. 1
  • Capítulo uno: Las encuestas y el discurso local p. 6
  • Capítulo dos: Salud Mesoamérica 2015 p. 32
  • Capítulo tres: Reflexiones y la tensión entre los discursos p. 55
  • Conclusiones p. 63
  • Bibliografía p. 66
  • Referencias no publicadas p. 72
  • El apéndice p. 74

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