Cultural factors influencing teenage pregnancy in Jamaica

Soroya Julian McFarlane, Soyoon Kim, Kerli Kirch Schneider, Sheeva Dubey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A literature review was undertaken to identify key factors associated with teenage pregnancy in Jamaica. Using the PEN-3 cultural model, we first categorised these factors to develop a theoretical taxonomy that can be used to help health intervention planners to understand and address the phenomenon. Next, we examined the validity of this initial taxonomy by comparing it with cultural factors identified in semi-structured focus group discussions with Jamaican teenage mothers. Cultural factors identified in the initial literature review–such as parental interaction and control, the intergenerational transmission of teenage pregnancy and experiences of sexual abuse–were largely confirmed and built upon. Results highlight promising opportunities for health communication among young women in Jamaica with a focus on self-efficacy, resilience and positive cultural factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-945
Number of pages17
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2019


  • Jamaica
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • culture
  • health communication
  • maternal health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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