Pregnancy Intentions and Maternal Health Behaviors Reexamined: A Multidimensional Analysis

Maggie Rechel, Ohio State University

Past research on the relationship between pregnancy intention status and maternal health behaviors has not found a consistent link. Many researchers have suggested the ambiguous findings occur because pregnancy intention status is measured too simplistically and fails to capture true intention status as understood by the women involved. Our research uses suggestions from critics of the current measure to see if an improvement in the measurement of intended pregnancy as it relates to maternal health outcomes can be found. We find that if measures of intentionality are represented as multiple dimensions rather than timing alone, the prediction of smoking cessation during the pregnancy and prenatal care received in the first trimester is strengthened.

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Presented in Session 145: Fertility Intentions, Reproductive Health and Fertility