‘You have a lot of mirrors’: structural and socioecological factors impacting adolescent pregnancy and reproductive health in the Amazon basin, Peru, a qualitative study

Lisa Labita Woodson, Adriana Garcia Saldivar, Heidi E. Brown, Priscilla A. Magrath, Leslie V. Farland, Magaly M. Blas, Purnima Madhivanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Loreto, in the Peruvian Amazon, has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the country. However, underlying causes of adolescent pregnancy are not fully understood as data are limited in Indigenous and remote Amazonian communities. This study investigated adolescent reproductive health within Loreto using an ecological systems framework. Forty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted in June 2022: community leaders (n = 12) and adolescent participants between 15 and 17 years of age (pregnant girls, n = 11; never pregnant girls, n = 9; and boys, n = 9). We also conducted focus group discussions with community health workers and educators in October 2022 (three focus groups, n = 15). Adolescent reproductive health is complex with multi-layered factors that put girls at higher risk of pregnancy. We found a paradoxical relationship between expected social and gender norms and individual desires. This research provides a contextual understanding of the lived experience of adolescents and young people in the Amazon region of Peru. Our findings suggest the need for greater exploration of the contradictory ideas surrounding adolescent pregnancy and female sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • Peru
  • ecological systems model
  • indigenous youth
  • sexual and reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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