Recovering from an Epidemic of Teen Pregnancy: The Role of Rural Faith Leaders in Building Community Resilience
This study explores the role of faith leaders and congregations in preventing teen pregnancy and enhancing overall health. Seventeen faith-based leaders responded to an invitation to participate. Participants were recruited from two counties within Oklahoma, based on desired community characteristics. Findings were directly related to: (1) the vulnerability of rural communities to negative health outcomes; (2) resiliency of rural faith communities to address health issues; and (3) the adaptive capacity of rural faith leaders and their communities to decrease teen pregnancy and maximize community health. Culturally relevant public health programming is necessary to engage this at risk population; however, it requires engaging faith leaders in efforts to build congregation-based and community-based capacity.
KeywordsTeenage pregnancy Sexual health Community health Resilience
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