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Situating Pregnancy Intention Status: An inquiry into the relationship between educational advantage, structural opportunity, and pregnancy planning

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Akilah Wise

Recently, interest in the impact of unintended pregnancy on maternal, infant, and child outcomes has increased, illustrated by its announcement as a national health concern in Health People 2020. However, pregnancy intention is complex, in which individual-level psychological factors reflect socially patterned circumstances that may not be captured in most studies. A few qualitative studies have highlighted the importance of studying contextual factors that are relevant to the fertility decisions of women of color and low-income. Educational opportunities and level of education are well-known factors that affect women’s fertility and educational opportunities are highly stratified along racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographical lines in the United States. Educational advantage and structural opportunity during formative years may shape the saliency of pregnancy planning in adulthood. Women who are educationally advantage and more likely to participate in institutions, such a post-secondary schooling, marriage, and stable and promising employment, may find pregnancy planning salient and, sometimes indispensable toward achieving career goals. It is important to understand whether educational advantage impacts circumstances surrounding pregnancy intentionality and calls into question the conceptualization and current measurements of pregnancy intention status. This project will be a pilot study for a qualitative data collection component for my dissertation. I will conduct the interviews in Atlanta, Georgia with younger and middle-age adult women.

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

Country of Focus: USA

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