Sociocultural and religious influences on the normative contraceptive practices of Latino women in the United States

Laura F. Romo, Abbey B. Berenson, Amanda Segars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Presumably, Latino women engage in little family planning because of religious or cultural objections to contraception. The purpose of this study was to examine how acculturation, religion and various demographic factors were related to the family-planning behaviors of Latino women in the United States. Data were collected on 234 pregnant women (aged 18-40 years), on their family size, how actively they planned their current pregnancy, and how consistently they used contraception in the past. Through path analysis, we found that Spanish-speaking women were more consistent contraceptive users than their English-speaking counterparts, suggesting that acculturation negatively impacts contraceptive use. However, Spanish-speaking women with longer US residency were more likely to be consistent contraceptive users than Spanish-speaking women who had lived in the United States for briefer periods, suggesting a positive effect of acculturation. Religiosity and years of education were associated with family size, but not contraceptive use. Women who were married and had fewer children were more likely to plan their current pregnancy, indicating that Latino women take family size and marital status into consideration when actively deciding to become pregnant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalContraception
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Keywords

  • Contraceptive practices
  • Cultural competence
  • Cultural stereotypes
  • Latino women
  • Path analysis
  • Religion
  • Sociocultural influences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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