A modified rational decision model incorporating salient events and social influences (particularly from sexual partners) is used to analyze adolescent women's consistent use of oral contraceptives (OCs) over a six-month period. Data are taken from a panel study of 308 clients of an inner-city family planning clinic. Expected OC use was computed for each subject on the basis of subjective expected utility (SEU) theory, and is found in multivariate analyses to be a significant predictor of actual OC use. In addition, variables representing baseline and follow-up partner influences, the salience of pregnancy for the subject, and positive side effects of OCs during the first months of use are found to predict OC use. Partner's support of OC use during follow-up and positive side effects of OCs are found to predict OC use among subjects for whom OC use was not the expected decision according to baseline SEU. Implications of the findings for models of adolescents' contraceptive behavior and for clinicians are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health