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Womens Health Issues. 2014 May-Jun;24(3):e281-9. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.02.003. Epub 2014 Apr 13.

Exploring young adults' contraceptive knowledge and attitudes: disparities by race/ethnicity and age.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Electronic address: amaranta.craig@ucsf.edu.
2
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
3
Center for Research on Health Care, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
4
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Half of pregnancies in the United States are unintended, with the highest proportions occurring among Blacks, Hispanics, and teenagers. Understanding differences in knowledge and attitudes about contraception by race/ethnicity and age can improve efforts to reduce disparities in unintended pregnancy.

METHODS:

This analysis used data from the 897 female respondents in National Survey of Reproductive and Contraceptive Knowledge, a survey exploring young adults' knowledge and attitudes about contraception and pregnancy. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess racial/ethnic and age group differences in knowledge and attitudes about contraceptives.

FINDINGS:

Hispanics and teenagers (aged 18-19) had lower awareness of available contraceptive methods, and lower knowledge about individual methods compared with White women and young adults (age 20-29). For example, Hispanics (74%) and teenagers (77%) were less likely to have heard of the intrauterine device (IUD) than were White women (90%) and young adults (90%), and were less likely to know that a woman experiencing side effects could switch brands of oral contraceptive pills (72% of Hispanics vs. 86% of White women; 76% of teenagers vs. 90% of young adults). Hispanics born outside the United States had lower knowledge about contraceptives than U.S.-born Hispanics. For example, foreign-born Hispanics were less likely than U.S.-born Hispanics to have heard of the IUD (59% vs. 82%) or the vaginal ring (55% vs. 95%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Lower contraceptive knowledge among teenagers and Hispanics, particularly immigrants, suggests the importance of disseminating family planning information to these women as one means to address disparities in unintended pregnancy.

PMID:
24725755
PMCID:
PMC4119871
DOI:
10.1016/j.whi.2014.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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