Migration and its influence on teen pregnancy

Although teenage birth rates in California have declined significantly in recent years, counties with the highest rates of teen births are predominantly rural and have a high proportion of Latinos/as. A new study from researchers at the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health describes how residential mobility and migration impact teenage pregnancy in rural areas in California.

By conducting interviews with young people in five rural communities, the researchers found that migration due to factors like seasonal jobs, economic changes and housing transitions affect young people's interactions with schools, health systems and other community members. Additionally, young people continually navigate the challenges of frequent residential mobility, while also adapting to the dominant US culture.

These findings underscore the importance of promoting programs that support the integration of immigrant youth to reduce their sense of isolation, as well as to ensure access to sexual health education and reproductive health services. This includes tailoring teenage pregnancy prevention programs and sexual reproductive health services to meet the needs of non-US born, transient populations, minorities and Indigenous youth.