January 4, 2019

How do survey measures related to reproduction predict unintended fertility?

Posted January 7, 2019

Research has shown that attitudes and knowledge around reproduction predict reproductive behavior. However, throughout the plethora of research, there isn’t a set of conceptual models or measures that are used to determine the constructs – or theoretical makeup – of reproduction attitudes and knowledge. The inconsistency leads to difficulty comparing findings across studies and understanding further how these constructs may lead to different reproductive outcomes, including unintended fertility. A study by Karen Guzzo and others, featured in Demography, looked specifically at developing a framework which could refine existing measures and set a standard for future research.

The research team reviewed questions that related to defined constructs of reproductive attitudes and reproductive knowledge from both Add Health and the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life study. Using psychometric techniques, the authors conducted exploratory factor analysis and tested the generated models using confirmatory factor analysis. The findings revealed that, while reproductive attitudes and knowledge are multidimensional, they are also generalizable among adolescents and young adults in the United States, and there are potential ways to improve current measures.

This study takes an important first step towards synthesizing results from existing studies and developing established measures to model the important relationship between reproductive attitudes and knowledge and unintended fertility, especially among teens and young adults.

You can learn more about the study methods by reading the full article here.

Karen Benjamin Guzzo, Bowling Green State University
Hsueh-Sheng Wu, Center for Family and Demographic Research, Bowling Green University
Sarah R. Hayford, Ohio State University
Jennifer Barber, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Vanessa Wanner Lang, Bowling Green State University
Yasamin Kusunoki, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Guzzo, K. B., Hayford, S. R., Lang, V. W., Wu, H.-S., Barber, J., & Kusunoki, Y. (2018). Dimensions of reproductive attitudes and knowledge related to unintended childbearing among U.S. adolescents and young adults. Demography. doi:10.1007/s13524-018-0747-7