Document Type



Background: In the United States, a disproportionate number of unintended pregnancies occur among African Americans, particularly those in their later teenage years and early 20s. Mobile technology is becoming more ubiquitous as a method for health promotion; however, relatively little research has been done with this population to determine their perspectives about unintended pregnancy, the potential of successfully using mobile technology to prevent unintended pregnancy, and the content of such programs.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to obtain the perspectives of African American emerging adults about unintended pregnancy and the use of mobile technology to reduce unintended pregnancy rates.

Methods: Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 83 African Americans, aged 18-21 years. Data were analyzed using an open coding process. Emergent codes were then added as needed, and themes and subthemes were identified.

Results: Participants cited the social environment and lack of education as primary reasons for disproportionate rates of unintended pregnancy. They noted that unintended pregnancy is an important issue and that they desire more sexual health information. They enthusiastically supported mobile technology as a means to communicate unintended pregnancy prevention programming and offered many suggestions for program content, look, and feel.

Conclusions: Young and emerging adult African Americans want and need sexual health resources, and a mobile-based platform could be widely accepted and address needs to lower disproportionate rates of unintended pregnancy. An essential next step is to use these findings to inform the development of a mobile-based unintended pregnancy prevention and sexual health program prototype to determine feasibility.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© Lucy Annang Ingram, Crystal Stafford, Quentin McCollum, McKenzie Isreal. Originally published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth (, 21.10.2020.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

APA Citation

Ingram, L. A., Stafford, C., McCollum, Q., & Isreal, M. (2020). African American emerging adult perspectives on unintended pregnancy and meeting their needs with mobile technology: Mixed methods qualitative study. JMIR MHealth and UHealth, 8(10), e21454.