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Keywords:

  • cultural sensitivity;
  • Latina teens;
  • Latino family;
  • pregnancy prevention;
  • teen pregnancy

Abstract: This study examined practitioners’ understandings of cultural sensitivity in the context of pregnancy prevention programs for Latina teens. Fifty-eight practitioners from teen pregnancy prevention programs in California were interviewed in a guided conversation format. Three themes emerged in our analysis. First, practitioners’ definitions of cultural sensitivity were consistent with existing models in the published research literature and focused largely on reinforcing the cultural strengths of Latino youth and families. Second, strategies for cultural sensitivity were complicated by tension between traditional Latino culture and the culture of pregnancy prevention programs. Third, practitioners identified a blend of personal and professional characteristics associated with cultural sensitivity among staff. We discussed policy and practice implications for Latino pregnancy prevention.