Guatemala has the third highest adolescent pregnancy rate in the Western Hemisphere at 101 per 1,000 live births among young women ages 15 to 19. Guatemala's reproductive health indicators lag behind other developing countries in Latin America and demonstrate significant disparities by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and region especially in the area of maternal mortality, total fertility, and adolescent fertility. To date, research has focused on the factors that affect high rates of maternal mortality among indigenous women in Guatemala and have sought to understand contraceptive utilization. In recent years, the Ministry of Health in Guatemala has increased efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancy as a contributing factor of maternal mortality in Guatemala. However, there has been limited research on pregnancy among adolescents or the causes of a disparate burden of pregnancy among rural, indigenous young women. Therefore, our study sought to explore the sociocultural influences of adolescent pregnancy among indigenous young women by focusing on one indigenous ethnic group where adolescent pregnancy is high. We used a qualitative approach comprising 19 in-depth interviews with Kaqchikel young women in Solola, Guatemala in order to explore the phenomenon of adolescent pregnancy from the lived experiences of young mothers. Data analyses were guided by grounded theory and narrative analysis. We identified four distinct pathways to early motherhood that are influenced by strong gender expectations, limited communication about sex, and stigma around sex. Our findings are consistent with evidence of adolescent sexual behavior and its ties to gender, limited intergenerational communication about sex and the stigmatization of sex across multiple country contexts. This study reveals the processes in which these sociocultural influences operate and show the variation of adolescent pregnancy experiences among young mothers in the context of the Kaqchikel communities. By identifying four pathways to early motherhood, we discover possible opportunities to interrupt these pathways through public health programs and policies that reach young women in Solola, Guatemala.
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II. COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
About this Master's Thesis
|Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor|
|"Now I am a mother…and I feel like a mother and I'm not a girl anymore": Pathways to Early Motherhood among Kaqchikel Young Women in Solola, Guatemala ()||2018-08-28||