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Authored Papers

All Authored Papers

Racial/Ethnic Disparities & Cultural Competency in Teen Pregnancy, STD & HIV Prevention

by Barbara Sugland, MPH, ScD

This presentation consisting of 40 slides was one of three major presentations delivered to reproductive health professionals at the "Bridging Science and Practice Institute" in Charleston, South Carolina in June, 2003. The Institute was developed and coordinated by ETR Associates and the National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting & Prevention (NOAPPP) with financial support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Reproductive Health.

The presentation provides a wealth of adolescent reproductive data as well as a break down of these data by race and ethnicity. Dr. Sugland's analysis of these data gives us reason to pause and ask why such disparities continue to exist among different racial and ethnic groups in the United States as well as think critically about the most effective ways to reach different groups of adolescents with prevention messages.

For example, in Slide #16 we see that African-American females (ages 15-19) are dramatically more likely to have chlamydia than any other racial/ethnic group. In Slide # 6 we see that Hispanic adolescents have the highest birthrates. In Slide #13, we see that American Indian teens are the least likely to have used a condom at last intercourse.

What can parents, practitioners, policy makers and researchers do to better understand why these disparities exist and better address these disparities? This question is addressed toward the end of the slide presentation. However, ReCAPP challenges you to think critically about these data and how to best address them in your community. We encourage you to share your ideas with ReCAPP's Project Team at

You may access this presentation in two ways:

Barbara W. Sugland, MPH, ScD, Executive Director
Center for Applied Research and Technical Assistance (CARTA):
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Sugland is recognized nationally for her work in the fields of adolescent reproductive health and transition to adulthood with particular emphasis on youth of color. She is particularly well-known for her ability to bridge the gap between research and community-based practice by making scientific information relevant and accessible for providers working with diverse communities.

Dr. Sugland has conducted numerous workshops on cultural competence and has worked directly with providers helping them to understand the significance of culture and implications for their work. She is currently involved in work that explores the cultural significance of parent and family influences on adolescent sexuality for African-American and Latino youth. This work will result in a tool for providers that can be used to develop programs and practices for culturally diverse populations. Prior to founding CARTA, Dr. Sugland was the Area Director for Adolescent Childbearing Research at Child Trends, Inc. For more information about CARTA, visit