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Public Health. 2009 Apr;123(4):331-8. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2009.01.005. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Induced abortion and intimate relationship quality in the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey.

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Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403, USA.



To examine associations between abortion and relationship functioning.


Independent variables included abortion in a previous relationship and abortion in a current relationship. Perceptions of quality-of-life changes associated with terminating the relationship, conflict, aggressiveness and sexual dysfunction were the outcome measures.


Data were derived from interviews with an ethnically diverse urban sample of men (n=658) and women (n=906). Surveys were conducted in person using computer-assisted personal interview technology by the National Opinion Research Center affiliated with the University of Chicago, USA.


For men and women, the experience of an abortion in a previous relationship was related to negative outcomes in the current relationship; perceptions of improved quality of life if the current relationship also ended and intimate partner violence. Experience of an abortion within a current relationship was associated with 116% and 196% increased risk of arguing about children for women and men, respectively. Among females, experience of an abortion within a current relationship was associated with increased risk for various forms of sexual dysfunction (122-182%), increased risk of arguments about money (75%), increased risk of conflict about the partner's relatives (80%), and increased risk of arguing about the respondent's relatives (99%). Men whose current partners had experienced an abortion were more likely to report jealousy (96% greater risk) and conflict about drugs (385% greater risk).


Abortion may play a vital role in understanding the aetiology of relationship problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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