Spousal Communication and Contraceptive Use in Rural Nepal: An Event History Analysis
Link, Cynthia F. 2011. “Spousal Communication and Contraceptive Use in Rural Nepal: An Event History Analysis.” Studies in Family Planning 42(2):83-92.
This study analyzes longitudinal data from couples in rural Nepal to investigate the influence of spousal communication about family planning on their subsequent contraceptive use. The study expands current understanding of the communication–contraception link by (a) exploiting monthly panel data to conduct an event history analysis, (b) incorporating both wives’ and husbands’ perceptions of communication, and (c) distinguishing effects of spousal communication on the use of four contraceptive methods. The findings provide new evidence of a strong positive impact of spousal communication on contraceptive use, even when controlling for confounding variables. Wives’ reports of communication are substantial explanatory factors in couples’ initiation of all contraceptive methods examined. Husbands’ reports of communication predict couples’ subsequent use of male-controlled methods. This analysis advances our understanding of how marital dynamics—as well as husbands’ perceptions of these dynamics—influence fertility behavior, and should encourage policies to promote greater integration of men into family planning programs.