Attitudes Predicting Unintended Pregnancies Reported in an Online Weekly Survey: Preliminary Results

Jennifer S. Barber, University of Michigan
Heather H. Gatny, University of Michigan
Jennifer Yarger, University of Michigan

This paper uses longitudinal data from a weekly mixed-mode (online or phone) survey spanning 2.5 years, or 130 weeks. We use these data to examine which attitudinal aspects of sex, contraception, and pregnancy influence the risk of pregnancy among 1,000 18-21 year old women. We draw on the Prototype/Willingness model, which posits that behavior is socially reactive not rationally planned. Positive perceptions of norms, positive attitudes/beliefs/preferences, and prototypical similarity increase behavioral expectations and behavioral willingness, which in turn increase the probability of the behavior. We therefore assess the effects of general attitudes, perceived norms, beliefs, behavioral expectations and behavioral willingness on the risk of pregnancy. In the final paper to be presented at the PAA conference, we will further develop our theoretical framework and will expand our models to include dynamic measures of these attitudes.

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