Theses Doctoral

Intersectionality: A Systematic Review and Application to Explore the Complexity of Teen Pregnancy Involvement

Hess, Leona E.

This three-paper dissertation investigates current applications of intersectionality in social work research and explores the utility of intersectionality in uncovering the complexity of teen pregnancy involvement. To illustrate the current methodological and theoretical applications of intersectionality in social work research, the first paper presents a systematic review of the literature. As shown in this paper, while intersectionality is underutilized as a theoretical concept in social work research, the potentialities of intersectionality to examine the complexity of social locations and identities is manifest. The second and third papers employ intersectional approaches to uncover the complexity of teen pregnancy involvement in New York City. The second paper examines quantitatively the interaction of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation on teen pregnancy involvement among a representative sample (N=176,289) of New York City public high school students. Findings from this paper reveal new patterns of disparities in teen pregnancy involvement based on the interactive effects of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. The third paper captures qualitatively the interactions of social locations that contribute to perceptions about teen pregnancy among 24 sexual-minority female youth of color who participated in focus groups at a community-based organization in New York City. This paper examines the heteronormative assumptions underpinning teen pregnancy involvement and provides a different story about teen pregnancy "risk."

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Wu, Elwin
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 2, 2014