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Health Services, Attitudes, and Fertility Limitation

Publication Abstract

Brauner-Otto, Sarah. 2015. “Health Services, Attitudes about Children, and Fertility Limitation.” International Journal of Sociology 45(1):24-43.

This article investigates the role of women’s attitudes as a mechanism through which changes in social context influence individual behavior. By examining how specific dimensions of health services are related to one’s attitudes about children’s roles in the household and how those attitudes are related to contraceptive behavior, I provide new information on these intermediary social-psychological processes. My investigation focuses on a setting in rural Nepal that experienced dramatic social, economic, and demographic changes over the course of current residents’ lives. Findings reveal that social-psychological mechanisms are a key piece of the social context–individual behavior link. Increased exposure to family planning services and child and maternal health services were related to less family-oriented attitudes, and women with less family-oriented attitudes had higher rates of contraceptive use than women who felt otherwise.

DOI: 10.1080/00207659.2015.1004976