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A Comparison of Attitudes, Intentions, and Behaviors of Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Young Women: Evidence from the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) Study

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Yasamin Kusunoki

The overarching question for the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) study asks how prevalent unintended pregnancy is during the transition to adulthood, and why. The existing study begins with a baseline interview of a cohort of approximately 1,000 young women. Immediately following, each young woman enrolls in a weekly journal study for a period of 2.5 years. This weekly 5-minute online or phone interview provides dynamic measures of rapidly changing aspects of their lives, including relationships, contraceptive use, pregnancies, education, employment, and other relevant activities. We also conduct semi-structured follow-up interviews with approximately 10% of the women who experience pregnancies. The goal of the proposed study is to conduct semi-structured interviews with a comparison group of those who avoided pregnancy during the study period. Using, propensity score matching, we will select those respondents identified to be most at risk for early pregnancy but who did not get pregnant during the study period. This will allow us to better understand how young women who are similar in many ways to those who did become pregnant are able to avoid pregnancy, which will shed light on key protective factors. The interview we propose has three specific aims: (1) collect data to be used to advance our understanding of how the young women in our sample understand and enact ideas about fertility preferences in their daily lives; (2) collect data to serve as an important comparison to a body of methodologically-similar interviews with respondents who did become pregnant during their participation period; and (3) reinforce respondent commitment to and interest in the RDSL study for potential future contact.

Funding Period: 03/01/2012 to 06/30/2013

Country of Focus: USA

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