Online Program

Perceived ideal circumstances for childbearing across groups of different social position

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meredith D'Amore, MPH, PhD, Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine & New York University, Boston, MA
Dana Watnick, MPH, MSSW, The Graduate Center; Doctoral Program in Public Health, The City University of New York, New York, NY
Cathy Besthoff, RN, MHA, City University of New York, New York, NY
Nisha Beharie, DrPH, DPH Program, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, NY
Amy Kwan, MPH, Department of Community, Society and Health, The Graduate Center, CUNY School of Public Health, New York, NY
Diana Romero, PhD, MA, Community Health and Social Sciences, City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York, NY
Background: Little is known about what individuals of different social position perceive as ‘ideal' childbearing circumstances. This can inform our conceptualization of pregnancy intentions.

Objectives: To assess and compare perceptions of childbearing among those who became pregnant before or during their desired ‘ideal' situation.

Methods: The Social Position and Family Formation (SPAFF) study comprised cross-sectional, qualitative interviews from a community–based sample of 200 men and women (18-35 years), with and without children, of various racial/ethnic, financial and educational backgrounds. We categorized individuals by those who became pregnant either before or during their perceived ‘ideal' childbearing circumstances and analyzed transcripts from both groups to identify themes pertaining to childbearing.

Results: Preliminary analyses suggest that both groups maintain similar ideals prior to childbearing, specifically completing their education and achieving financial stability. Those who became pregnant before their ideal circumstances chose to either have an abortion or keep the child, each perceived as a responsible decision. Those who became pregnant during their ideal circumstances characterized this as the “right” way to get pregnant, specifically being older and married. Their reasons for having a child included the desire to be a parent as well as social pressure.

Conclusions: Those who became pregnant before or during their ideal circumstances had similar goals prior to childbearing regarding education and finances. These early findings help explain childbearing ideals across groups of different social position and have implications for improved conceptualization of pregnancy intentions.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess and compare how individuals discuss the circumstances of getting pregnant before or during their own self-imposed idealized situation.

Keyword(s): Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because: I hold a PhD in Public Health and am an active member of a qualitative working group, exploring how individuals of varying economic positions and race/ethnicity think about family formation. Furthermore, I have several years of experience conducting both qualitative and quantitative research on sexual health and family planning.
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.