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Caroline Sten Hartnett photo

Pregnancy Desires, Pre- and Post-Conception

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Caroline Sten Hartnett

Unintended pregnancy is a major public health concern in the United States: According to 2001 figures, 49% of pregnancies are unintended, and only 44% of those unintended pregnancies end in live births. The most widely used measure of unintended pregnancies includes both pregnancies that occur when respondents report that no/no more births are wanted and pregnancies that are reportedly mistimed/too soon. This measure is frequently used in the public health literature as an indicator of unmet need for contraception and as a predictor of poor child and maternal health outcomes, although many consider it inadequate for capturing the range of pregnancy intentions.

This research will use unique data from the RDSL to better understand the complexity of feelings about becoming pregnant by: 1) Identifying common patterns in women's feelings about pregnancy, before pregnancy occurs, 2) Examining how post-conception reports of pregnancy intentions compare with pre-conception feelings, and 3) Identifying predictors of pre- and post-conception pregnancy desires.

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

Country of Focus: USA

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