Date of Conferral
Among young adults at risk for unintended pregnancies, preconception health and prenatal care programs aimed at positive birth outcomes remain unaddressed. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of young adults in terms of their willingness to use preconception health and prenatal care as a means for increasing both positive birth outcomes and overall health. All study participants met the following criteria: (a) young adult man or woman, (b) age 18 to 25, (c) at risk for unintended pregnancies, (d) sexually active, (e) single or in cohabiting partnerships, and (f) living in the greater Los Angeles, Calif., area. The researcher conducted individual, semi structured interviews with study participants, and analyzed the resulting transcripts using a modified van Kaam analysis. Data analysis yielded 3 major themes to address the study's 3 research questions. First, participants believed that parenthood is largely learned through witnessing the practices of their parents, family members, and friends. Second, participants believed in the necessity of healthy lifestyle choices for healthy preconception and optimal prenatal care. Third, the key obstacle to perinatal care was the lack of awareness of pregnancy and available health care resources. These findings may provide a guideline for improving preconception health and prenatal care programs for young adults who are at risk of unintended pregnancies.