Author(s): Murphy JG, Symington BE, Jacobson S
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Abstract PIP: 106 low income sexually active women ages 15-30 years were interviewed at a hospital clinic to determine whether the psychosocial characteristics associated with effective use of contraception are susceptible to policy shifts (e.g., changes in the availability of welfare benefits or abortion services). 60\% of the women reported always using birth control and 40\% reported ineffective use of birth control. Effective use of birth control was positively related to years of education, satisfaction with present birth control method, and marital status. The relative risks associated with education were 50\% greater than thos associated with satisfaction and marital status. None of the 4 variables identified as indicators of the sensitivity of contraceptive practice to changes in public assistance or abortion policies (public assistance status, prediction regarding completion of an unplanned pregnancy, assessment of the consequences of motherhood, and abortion history) was predictive of birth control use. These results strongly suggest that the psychosocial characteristics distinguishing effective from ineffective contraceptors are not those that are directly suscpetible to regulatory, legislative, or judicial restrictions. Rather, those concerned with family planning should support outreach programs that attract poor students to school. In addition, family planning programs should aim to work with clients to improve satisfaction with the methods of contraception chosen.
This article was published in J Public Health Policy
and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health