The full text of this item is not available at this time because the student has placed this item under an embargo for a period of time. The Libraries are not authorized to provide a copy of this work during the embargo period, even for Texas A&M users with NetID.
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in the Lower Rio Grande Valley: Policy, Programs, and Access to Clinical Care
MetadataShow full item record
Adolescent pregnancy is a public health issue nationally as well as in Texas. In the United States, the birth rate was 27 births per 1000 adolescents ages 15-19 in 2016. In Texas, the adolescent birth rate was 52 births per 1000. The ways in which to address adolescent pregnancy are controversial. Adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives often spark debate regarding the types of comprehensive programs that should be made available to adolescents. Texas remains focused on abstinence-based efforts that are seldom effective and that often exclude preconception care for adolescents. As a result, the state has high rates of adolescent births, particularly in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. All counties that comprise this largely Hispanic, border region exhibit high rates of adolescent births. Compared to women in general, pregnant adolescents are at increased risk for adverse maternal and child outcomes including permanently interrupted education and associated poverty, and for infants, low birth weight and preterm delivery. Comprehensive reproductive health services and programs to reduce adolescent pregnancy in the Lower Rio Grande Valley are crucial to improve child health. This dissertation focuses on identifying agencies, programs, and best practices currently in place to address adolescent pregnancy prevention in the region. In addition, organizations and programs in place throughout the state that remain unavailable to adolescents residing in the Lower Rio Grande Valley were identified. Furthermore, the analysis compared reproductive health services offered in Texas with those in other United States-Mexico border states. Methods for this study included a literature review and data collection from online resources provided by organizations, such as reports, to identify current programs in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region. To ensure data were comparable and accurate, adolescent birth rates were gathered from the County Health Rankings. A total of seven organizations were identified including five that implement adolescent pregnancy prevention initiatives in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and three initiatives throughout the state of Texas. Rigorous evaluation of these programs and services and the implementation of evidence-based programs in the Lower Rio Grande Valley would provide a foundation for improving the lives of young women and childbearing outcomes.
Flores, Krystal (2019). Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in the Lower Rio Grande Valley: Policy, Programs, and Access to Clinical Care. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from