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Toward a Multidimensional Measure of Pregnancy Intentions: Evidence from the United States

Citation

Santelli, John S.; Lindberg, Laura Duberstein; Orr, Mark G.; Finer, Lawrence B.; & Speizer, Ilene S. (2009). Toward a Multidimensional Measure of Pregnancy Intentions: Evidence from the United States. Studies in Family Planning, 40(2), 87-100.

Abstract

Widely used dichotomous categorical measures of pregnancy intentions do not represent well the complexity of factors involved in women's intentions. We used a variety of exploratory statistical methods to examine measures of pregnancy intention in the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (N = 3,032 pregnancies). Factor analyses identified two key dimensions of pregnancy intentions (desire and mistiming) and two smaller nondimensional categories (overdue and don't care). Desire included both affective and cognitive variables, as well as partner-specific factors. Similar pregnancy-intention dimensions were found for adolescent and adult women, across socioeconomic status, and among racial and ethnic groups. Both desire and mistiming were highly predictive of the decision to abort or continue the pregnancy. These analyses strongly support prior demographic thinking about the importance of both the timing of pregnancy and wanting a baby, but suggest that multidimensional rather than simple categorical measures of pregnancy intentions should be used.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2009.00192.x

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2009

Journal Title

Studies in Family Planning

Author(s)

Santelli, John S.
Lindberg, Laura Duberstein
Orr, Mark G.
Finer, Lawrence B.
Speizer, Ilene S.