Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-2014

Journal / Book Title

Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice


This study employed Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) methods to document needs and capacity around adolescent pregnancy and parenting in one predominately Black, low-income urban community. Using an iterative focus group method, we engaged 60 participants in a two-day community conversation. Quantitative data from an enrollment questionnaire and qualitative transcripts of the discussions are analyzed. Our results indicate that the community’s greatest capacity lies in a network of women. Men tend to participate in parenting more holistically once formal paternity is established. Neighborhood women typically introduce adolescents to prenatal care, so delays in revealing the pregnancy to them serve as a barrier to accessing prenatal care. Overall, participants want health agencies to uphold their formal social contracts with the community, but to entrust informal services to community members who have the necessary insight and expertise to deliver support and information that is usable in their social context.

Published Citation

Leech, Tamara GJ, Elizabeth A. Adams, and Marci Littlefield. "A community conversation on adolescent pregnancy and parenting services: networks of support, gatekeepers to care, and non-compulsory fathering in a black urban community." (2014).