Inconsistent Contraception among Women 20-29: Insights from Qualitative Interviews

Paula S. England, Stanford University
Joanna Reed, University of California, Berkeley
Krystale Littlejohn, Stanford University
Brooke Conroy, Stanford University

This study uses data from qualitative interviews in 2009/2010 with 51 low SES, never married, female Community College students, age 20-29. Past research shows that most pregnancies to unmarried women are unintended, and result from inconsistent contraception. We examine the circumstances under which women don’t use or stop using contraception. Interviews obtain a complete history of all sexual partners, eliciting a narrative on each, including contraceptive use and lapses. The qualitative analysis focuses on processes leading up to sex without contraception or cessation of contraception, using both within-respondent (across partner) and across-respondent comparisons. We also highlight meanings of situations and behaviors to the women. The quantitative analysis uses respondent/partner dyads as the unit of study (at about 5 per respondent, N= ~250), using quantitative coding from the transcripts. We examine predictors of consistent, inconsistent, or no contraception, using variables characteristics of respondents, partners, relationships, and situations.

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Presented in Session 38: Contraceptive Choices in Context