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Family and Peer Influence on Obtaining a Method of Contraception

Constance A. Nathanson and Marshall H. Becker
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 48, No. 3 (Aug., 1986), pp. 513-525
DOI: 10.2307/352037
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352037
Page Count: 13
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Family and Peer Influence on Obtaining a Method of Contraception
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Abstract

This study examines the influence of parents, peers, and partners on teenage women's contraceptive-seeking behavior and identifies sources of variation in the amount and direction of influence. Data are based on a survey of 2,884 unmarried women under 20 who were making their first visit to a family planning clinic. The majority of these young women report active participation in, and support for, the clinic visit by significant others. However, the involvement of parents or peers seems to reflect alternative support strategies: girls who involve parents tend not to involve peers, and vice versa. Parental involvement is most likely to be reported by black girls and is least likely among white girls with relatively well-educated mothers. An interpretation of these findings is based on structural and normative differences between American black and white families.

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