Reproductive Health and Sexual Violence Among Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Young Women: Select Findings from the National Survey of Family Growth (2002)
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Existing data on American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) has indicated high rates of unintended pregnancy, high-risk sexual behavior, and experiences of sexual violence. This study from the first analysis to examine AI/ANs and the urban AI/AN subgroup in the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) reports new findings of reproductive health and sexual violence among urban AI/AN young women. We examined 2002 NSFG data on urban AI/AN women ages 15–24 years for pregnancies/births, unintended pregnancy, sexual initiation and contraceptive use. We also examined non-voluntary first sexual intercourse among urban AI/AN women ages 18–44 years. Prevalence estimates and 95 % confidence intervals were calculated. Findings include prevalence rates of risk factors among urban AI/AN women ages 15–24 years including unprotected first sex (38 %), first sex with much older partners (36 %), three or more pregnancies (13 %) and births (5 %) and unintended pregnancies (26 %). Seventeen percent of urban AI/ANs ages 18–44 years reported experiencing non-voluntary first sex. Sixty-one percent of urban AI/AN women ages 15–24 years were not using any method of contraception. Current contraceptive methods among those using a method included: injections/implants (23 %), contraceptive pills (32 %) and condoms (25 %). Findings describe reproductive health risk factors among young urban AI/AN women and highlight the need for enhanced surveillance on these issues. Those working to improve AI/AN health need these data to guide programming and identify resources for implementing and evaluating strategies that address risk factors for this overlooked population.
KeywordsAmerican Indian Alaska Native Youth Urban Reproductive health Sexual violence
The UIHI would like to gratefully acknowledge the following people for their contributions to this work: Public Health—Seattle & King County, especially Mike Smyser, MPH, from the Epidemiology, Planning, and Evaluation Unit; UIHI’s Maternal and Child Health Advisory Council members; the staff of the National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Family Growth, and the Research Data Center; the women who took part in the NSFG and offered their intimate and personal stories for the greater good and who represent those women whose voices were not captured. This project was funded by Health Services Research Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau [Grant #R40MC08954]. This project was also funded in part by the Indian Health Service Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention.
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