Influences on family planning among low income women

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Virginia Tech

Seventy-eight low-income pregnant women in Roanoke, Virginia were sampled by means of a questionnaire in an effort to study what factors influence their family planning practices. The questionnaire measured the sample's contraceptive awareness, knowledge, and use, and their attitudes concerning contraception and its use. Other attitudes studied were related to pregnancy and parenthood.

The questionnaire used was developed by the researcher, and was, in part, based on materials from the research of Dr. John Kanter of John Hopkins University.

A factor analysis was performed which delineated factors influencing the family planning practices of the sample studied. The results indicated that younger, single, black women in the sample tended to be less aware of and less likely to use contraception. They also expressed attitudes concerning single parenthood which tended to disregard generally held social norms.

A tendency also existed for white, married women, who were school drop-outs to give the reason that they "didn't mind if they became pregnant" for their lack of contraceptive use. This appeared to indicate a lack of motivation for contraceptive usage.

It was concluded that other investigations should be made to substantiate the results and provide additional information relevant to the development of services aimed at family planning among low income families.

contraception use