Young adult US-born Latina women’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs about unintended pregnancy

Natalie D. Hernandez, Rasheeta Chandler, Nancy Nava, Ilyssa Tamler, Ellen M. Daley, Julie A. Baldwin, Eric R. Buhi, Kathleen O’Rourke, Nancy Romero-Daza, Stephanie Grilo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Current measures of unintended pregnancy underestimate the co-occurring, complex set of social, cultural, economic and structural factors that influence how women interpret unintended pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to prospectively explore young adult US-born Latinas’ thoughts, feelings and beliefs about pregnancy, specifically unintended pregnancies and the sociocultural factors identified as contributors to those beliefs. In-depth interviews (n = 20) were conducted with US-born, English-speaking Latinas aged 18–25 years in south Florida. Seventeen participants did not intend to get pregnant, while the remaining participants (n = 3) reported that their intentions kept changing. Participants’ beliefs regarding their unintended pregnancy were influenced by social and economic hardship and cultural factors such as fatalism and familismo. Ideas and the meaning of pregnancy differed based on the woman’s pregnancy resolution decision. Many women felt the term ‘unintended pregnancy’ placed blame on women and was stigmatising. When discussing pregnancy planning, most participants felt that women should not plan their pregnancies and doing so was going against fate. Findings suggest that salient influences such as culture and the social determinants related to unintended pregnancy should be incorporated into measurements examining unintended pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-936
Number of pages17
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2 2020


  • USA
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • beliefs
  • feelings; Latinas
  • sociocultural factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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