The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3394.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 9:10 PM

Abstract #65963

Using quantitative and qualitative methods to explain reproductive decision-making

Catherine Maternowska, PhD, MPH1, Claire Brindis, DrPH2, Cynthia C. Harper, PhD3, Maya Blum, MPH1, Amy Godecker, PhD1, and Fatima Estrada, MPH1. (1) Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy, University of California, San Francisco, 2000 O Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 440-8803,, (2) Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, University of California at San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 265, San Francisco, CA 94143-0936, (3) Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, University of California San Francisco, Box 0744, 3333 California Street, Ste. 335, San Francisco, CA 94143-0744

The “Barriers to Family Planning Services Among Mexican Immigrants in California: Gender, Power, and Culture” study investigates non-traditional barriers to Family PACT, California’s Family Planning, Access, Care & Treatment Program, the State’s comprehensive reproductive health program for low-income populations. California provides an ideal research site since traditional barriers to family planning — cost, bilingual services and documentation status — have largely been addressed by Family PACT program planners.

The study tries to understand why some recent immigrants access these family planning services, while others do not. The family planning clients were recruited from clinics, and a comparison sample was recruited from non-clients living in similar geographic areas. We used demographic survey methods to collect data on the full sample (n=530), and anthropological methods to collect qualitative data on a sub-sample (n=80). Survey measures of gender dynamics within couples, from an adapted version of the Sexual Relationship Power Scale (Pulerwitz 2001), are compared with in-depth data collected on similar variables. Preliminary results indicate that issues related to sexuality, power and gender, reported with the scientific objectivity of the scale, provide only a partial understanding of gender relations. Merging qualitative, in-depth data with the quantitative scale offers a robust view of how decisions on contraception and sexuality are determined. Employing multiple measures in the study of reproductive health helps explain cultural constructions of power from the perspective of both women and men.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Measurement Methods and Issues

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA