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ABNF J. 2009 Winter;20(1):12-6.

Contraceptive use and attitudes among female college students.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY, USA.


Unintended pregnancy is a social issue that severely jeopardizes the quality of life for parents and their children. College age women between the ages of 20-24 have one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies due to lack of contraceptive use and unsafe sexual practices. Since 80% of college females are sexually active and not seeking to become pregnant, it is important to provide these women with effective contraceptive options. Among this population, Black and Hispanic woman have a disproportionate rate of unintended pregnancies. The purpose of this study was to examine contraceptive attitudes and demographic characteristics among female college students. Participants were grouped into those who use contraceptives consistently, intermittently, or not at all. The sample consisted of 120 racially diverse female college students who were sexually active within the past 3 months. Participants completed the Contraceptive Attitude Scale, contraceptive use tool, and demographic tool. The results showed that there was no significant difference in demographic characteristics and contraceptive attitudes for race, age, marital status, years of college education and income between the contraceptive groups. A majority of participants had a positive attitude regarding contraceptives. Women with higher contraceptive attitude scores were significantly more likely to be consistent contraceptive users. Uninterrupted contraceptive users had significantly higher mean contraceptive attitude scores than intermittent users and nonusers. The results of this study may enable healthcare providers to develop more effective methods of increasing contraceptive use and simultaneously decrease unintended pregnancy rates. Nurses play an integral role by providing women with contraceptive counseling that will assist these women in making an informed decision about contraception use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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