Immature Pelvic Growth and Obesity

A Biocultural Analysis of Risks Associated With Adolescent Pregnancy in the United States

  • Emma Theresa Ronayne University of Victoria
Keywords: Adolescent pregnancy; pelvic immaturity; obesity; obstetrical dilemma; health care disparities


Adolescent pregnancy in youth aged 10-19 years is associated with higher rates of adverse outcomes for both the mother and infant than adult pregnancy. Obesity and immature pelvic growth compound the associated risks of adolescent pregnancy. Black and Indigenous youth in the United States (U.S.) experience disproportionately high rates of adolescent pregnancy and obesity. This research project aimed to answer two questions: (1) What are the contributing risks of pelvic immaturity and obesity on adverse outcomes in adolescent pregnancy, especially in the U.S.?; and (2) Why are Black and Indigenous youth at particular risk of adolescent pregnancy and obesity in the U.S.? In this research project, I have conducted statistical analyses of biological and sociocultural factors associated with adolescent pregnancy using the CDC WONDER database, and I have used case studies and   ethnographic accounts to gain insight on Black and Indigenous youth experiences with adolescent pregnancy. In this paper I examine the racial disparities in rates of adolescent pregnancy, obesity, and adverse outcomes in the U.S. My paper contributes research to a current public health issue by using an integrative biocultural approach.

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