Teen pregnancy rates among Native Americans in South Dakota are four times higher than those for the rest of the state's population, and Sanford Research and the University of South Dakota have been awarded a $1.5 million grant to help lower those rates.
A grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities will allow Sanford Research/USD and its partners to conduct research on the subject.
"We are excited to be working with our partners to take a more in-depth look at the teen pregnancy rate among our Native population," said Sanford Research/USD Health Disparities Research Center director Amy Elliot. "We want to better understand why the numbers are so much higher and develop a multi-site, culturally sensitive teen pregnancy prevention program for reservation and urban Northern Plains American Indian teens."
Its partners are the University of Minnesota, South Dakota Urban Indian Health in Sioux Falls, and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board. Focus groups and interviews will look at social norms and unique cultural factors that account for the high pregnancy rate among youth living on the reservation and in an urban setting.