184176 Listening to rural Latina immigrants: An exploratory study of male involvement in contraceptive decision making

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ann P. Zukoski, DrPH, MPH , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
S. Marie Harvey, MPH, DrPH , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Meredith R. Branch, MPH , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Lisa P. Oakley, BA , Department of Public Health, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
A limited number of studies have explored relationship dynamics and the role male partners play in decisions to select and use contraception among Latino populations. Even less is known about the reproductive health needs of Latinas who are immigrating in record numbers to new settlement areas in rural parts of the Northwest and Southeast. These women are settling into socially isolated communities which present unique socio-cultural challenges that likely differ from communities in traditional urban settlement areas. This study investigates how young Latina women living in the rural Northwest describe their relationship dynamics and perceive the influence of male partners on decisions about contraceptive use. Data come from in-depth interviews with 29 young women (ages 18-25) who are recent immigrants to the US, live in rural Oregon, and are engaged (62%) in committed relationships. Interviews were conducted by bilingual/bicultural interviewers at homes, workplaces and public places. Results indicate that although only 29% of women reported that they had more general power in their relationship compared to their partners, the overwhelming majority (96%) perceived that they were highly involved in contraceptive decision-making. However, 72% of the women also reported that their male partners played a joint role in the decision-making process. Findings from content analysis will be presented to contextualize quantitative findings and explore women's views of their partners' role in contraceptive decision-making. Results will contribute to a growing body of literature that indicates the need to include male partners in family planning counseling. Implications for service delivery will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
Describe how much and in what ways male partners are involved with contraceptive decision-making among a sample of rural Latina women. Describe how relationship dynamics (e.g. commitment, length of relationship) are associated with rural Latina’s contraceptive decision making. Discuss the implications of findings for improving the delivery of reproductive health services for Latina women and men.

Keywords: Immigrant Women, Contraception

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a doctorate in public health and over 15 years of experience implementing public health programs and conducting research in this area
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.