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Indonesian Couples’ Pregnancy Ambivalence and Contraceptive Use


Barden-O'Fallon, Janine L. & Speizer, Ilene S. (2010). Indonesian Couples' Pregnancy Ambivalence and Contraceptive Use. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 36(1), 36-43. PMCID: PMC3883040


CONTEXT: Most studies on pregnancy ambivalence are based on data from women and depend on the women's perceptions to measure their partner's pregnancy intentions. Because these perceptions may not be accurate, data collected directly from men are needed to understand the role of couple dynamics in fertility behavior.
METHOD: Matched couple data from the 2002-2003 Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey were used to examine contraceptive use, fertility desires and attitudes about becoming pregnant in the next few weeks-whether it would be a big problem, a small problem or no problem. Concordance between partners on these issues was evaluated. Inconsistent fertility desires and responses to the problem question are used to define ambivalence within couples. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess whether couples' pregnancy ambivalence was associated with contraceptive use.
RESULTS: Seventy-one percent of husbands and 54% of wives reported that a pregnancy in the next few weeks would be "no problem"; couples' concordance on this question was 64% among contraceptive users and 61% among nonusers. In the multivariate analysis, couples who were discordant on the issue of a pregnancy in the near future had 26% lower odds of using contraceptives than couples in which both partners agreed a pregnancy would be a big or small problem. Contraceptive use was also less likely for couples in which one partner wanted to delay or stop childbearing and the other wanted more children or was undecided (odds ratio, 0.4).
CONCLUSIONS: Husbands and wives influence each other's fertility attitudes and family planning use. Both husbands' and wives' pregnancy attitudes should be taken into account at the time of screening and method selection.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health


Barden-O'Fallon, Janine L.
Speizer, Ilene S.