232862 What About the Boys?: Using Behavioral Theory to Understand Young Adult Males' Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Contraceptives and Unintended Pregnancy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Erica L. Spies, MS , School of Public Health, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Cassie Cunningham, BA , VAMC, University of Iowa - VAMC, Iowa City, IA
Shelly Campo, PhD , Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
Natoshia M. Askelson, MPH, PhD , Department of Community and Behavioral Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Mary E. Losch, PhD , Center for Social & Behavioral Research, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Background: Unintended pregnancy rates among 18-30 year olds are problematic in the US. Very little is known about how males think about unintended pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to describe men's attitudes and behaviors related to contraceptives and unintended pregnancy using the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) as a guide.

Method: Twenty-one 18-30 year old men were recruited across a rural, Midwestern state to participate in in-depth interviews. Participants were asked about characterizations of contraceptives, influences on contraceptive use, when contraceptives are used, barriers to using contraceptives, communicating about contraceptives, and characterizations of unintended pregnancy. All interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed for major themes using closed and open coding.

Findings: All five constructs of the EPPM (self-efficacy, response efficacy, susceptibility, severity, and fear) emerged as themes related to men's attitudes and behaviors. Related to contraceptive use, the majority of men had high self-efficacy and believed contraceptives have high response-efficacy. When they discussed unintended pregnancy, they believed they are not susceptible to pregnancy and the consequences of a pregnancy would be both good and bad. Men also feared their partners having an unintended pregnancy. Additionally, men recognized both costs and benefits associated with condom use for them and hormonal contraceptive use for their partners.

Discussion: We recommend the use of EPPM in designing interventions to improve men's of use contraceptives. Future research should focus on men's perceptions of susceptibility and ambivalent feelings about the severity of an unintended pregnancy.

Learning Objectives:
1) Assess 18-30 year old men's attitudes and behaviors related to contraceptives and unintended pregnancy. 2) Identify key theoretical constructs related to men's attitudes and behaviors around contraceptives that can inform public health interventions.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I assisted in the data collection and data analysis of the interviews.
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.