Article

Understanding Pregnancy in a Population of Inner-City Women in New Orleans-Results of Qualitative Research

Department of International Health and Development, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2200, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
Social Science & Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.89). 02/2005; 60(2):297-311. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.05.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Unintended pregnancy has conventionally been defined as a pregnancy that is mistimed or unwanted, and this classification has been widely used in survey research. This study explores the utility of these constructs for women who visited a family planning clinic and a prenatal clinic in inner-city New Orleans, LA, and, by extension, for women of similar background and experience. We used semi-structured, open-ended research to explore sexual debut and history, contraceptive knowledge and use, pregnancy history, partner relations, and service use among 77 women (73 of whom were African-American). This study addresses the apparent paradox of high-risk sexual and contraceptive behavior in the presence of expressed preferences to postpone childbearing. It provides some insight into the cultural and social context in which these events and decisions take place and explores the multiple dimensions that shape women's sexual behaviors and their desires for pregnancy. The dimensions explored include perceptions of and experiences with sex/sexuality, values concerning childbearing/motherhood, relationships with partners, experiences with contraception, and attitudes toward abortion. The apparent ambivalence seen in reports of women asked whether a pregnancy was intended, such as statements that they did not want to get pregnant but were either not using contraception or using it irregularly, calls into question the idea that intendedness can be routinely and easily inferred from survey research. Correspondingly, it is not possible to simply assume that either intentionality or future intentions directly affect decisions to use contraception. The problem is that the many factors-structural and individual-affect women's preferences and ability to postpone a pregnancy or to use contraception.

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    • "isadvantage ( Geronimus , 2004 ) . Qualitative studies facilitate understanding and give voice to the lived experiences of mar - ginalized and / or stigmatized communities in - cluding pregnant / parenting adolescents . Previ - ous qualitative studies among pregnant / parenting adolescents include explorations of intentionality and contraception ( Kendall et al . , 2005 ) , sources of support ( De Jonge , 2001 ; Ste - venson et al . , 1999 ) and perceived advantages and disadvantages of adolescent pregnancy ( Lesser et al . , 1998 ; Rosengard et al . , 2006 ; Spear , 2004 ) , among other topics . A meta - analysis of qualitative data by Spear and Lock ( 2003 ) identified four main themes consistent thr"
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    • "However, concerns have been growing about its use for individuallevel analyses, and numerous thoughtful critiques of this measure of childbearing intentions have been published (see Bachrach and Newcomer 1999; Klerman 2000; Luker 1999; Miller and Jones 2009; Peterson and Mosher 1999; Santelli et al. 2003). Indeed, the critiques of the conventional measure have become so numerous as to form their own body of research (see also Bachrach and Morgan 2013; Barrett and Wellings 2002; Fischer et al. 1999; Gerber et al. 2002; Higgins et al. 2012; Kaufman et al. 1997; Kavanaugh and Schwarz 2009; Kendall et al. 2005; Lifflander et al. 2007; McCormick et al. 1987; Moos et al. 1997; Petersen and Moos 1997; Poole et al. 2000; Santelli et al. 2006; Santelli et al. 2009; Stanford et al. 2000; Trussell et al. 1999; Westoff and Ryder 1977). "
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