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Teenage Pregnancy and Asian Population in the U.S.


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Teenage Pregnancy and the Asian population in the U.S.
Currently in the United States, our multicultural society is made up of people from many regions of the world. The Asian population originated from people from the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. One of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the United States is from the Indian subcontinent of South Asia (Ahmed & Lemkau, 2000). They speak a variety of languages, have their own customs, prepare their food differently, have specialized music and overall a different way of life when compared with Americans. For those reasons, acculturating to a new nation, United States, and new beginnings can be stressful for adolescents and teenagers. Along these lines, teenage pregnancy is labeled as the pregnancy of females under the age of twenty, whether married or not. This has evolved as one of the major public health problem in the United States. Factors such as culture and poverty-level, lead to teenage pregnancy among the Asian population in the United States.
Culture and traditions have played an important role in the lives of Asian society in the United States. It is customary for early or teenage marriages in this population. South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Bangladesh) have high proportions of teenage pregnancies, since early marriage is common and there is a social expectation to have a child soon after marriage (Acharya, Bhattaria, Poobalan, van Teijlingen & Chapman, 2010). According to the Asian society, teenage pregnancy is normal if the teenager was married however, if the teenager was not married and is pregnant, she was rejected and was considered an outcast by her family (A. Kumar, personal communication, November 7, 2014).
The majority of immigrants moved to the United States to live a better lifestyle. Even though they were indigent in their countries of origin, they believed that if they migrated to America that they would become rich and prosperous. According to Takei & Sakamoto (2011) foreign-born Asian-Americans have higher poverty rates than native-born Asian Americans, and more recent immigrant Asian-Americans have higher poverty rates than immigrant Asian-Americans who have had more time to adjust to American society (p. 272). Therefore, living in poverty and the lack of education have caused teenage pregnancy among this community, especially among the foreign-born Asian-Americans. According to A. Kumar (personal communication, November 7, 2014), once the families have become acculturated, they then become focused on education, thus reducing the rate of teenage pregnancy in this population.
The Asian-American population has been growing rapidly in the United States. As they are becoming acculturated, some of them still practice their traditions of food, music and early marriages. With early marriages, they result in teenage pregnancy. Poverty and the lack of education have also resulted in teenage pregnancy in the Asian population of the United States.
Acharya, D. R., Bhattaria, R., Poobalan, A. S., van Teijlingen, E., & Chapman, G. N. (2010).
Factors associated with teenage pregnancy in South Asia: a systematic review. Health Science Journal, 4(1), 3-14.
Ahmed, S. M., & Lemkau, J. P. (2000). Cultural issues in the primary care of south asians. Journal of Immigrant Health, 2(2), 89. Retrieved from Takei, I., & Sakamoto, A. (2011). Poverty among asian americans in the 21st century. Sociological Perspectives, 54(2), 251-276. doi:

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