Perceptions regarding adolescent pregnancy among a group of Thai adolescents in Sweden
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Overview: About 14% of Swedish adolescents are immigrants. This population is at higher risk of adolescent pregnancy. These adolescents have been socialized in two different societies and in two different cultures where views of sexuality greatly. In Thailand, sexual activity among adolescents is considered unacceptable and public discussion of such activity is discouraged. Sex education services are not widely provided to youth, and service providers are often uncomfortable to address sexual matters. On the other hand, acceptance of sexual behavior among young people is high in the Swedish society, characterized by comprehensive sex education, openness and a non - judgmental attitude. Therefore, these adolescents may encounter very different sexual health systems and community mores regarding sexual behavior, but little research explores the experiences or perspectives of Thai immigrant adolescents in Sweden. Therefore, we aimed to explain perceptions of adolescent pregnancy among a group of Thai adolescents in Sweden. Conclusions: Although Thai adolescents residing in Sweden live in a sexually open society with comprehensive sexual education and youth services, they perceived adolescent sexual activity and pregnancy as stigmatized and endorsed misperceptions and attitudes likely to lead to contraceptive non-use and adolescent pregnancy. They also described numerous peer, family, and community-level variables that could act to increase or decrease risk, suggesting culturally-specific interventions are needed for Thai immigrant youth in Sweden. Attention to peer, family and cultural variables may be particularly important in sexual health interventions with this population.