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Sterilization Anxiety and Fertility Control in the Later Years of Childbearing

H. Theodore Groat, Arthur G. Neal and Jerry W. Wicks
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Feb., 1990), pp. 249-258
DOI: 10.2307/352855
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352855
Page Count: 10
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Sterilization Anxiety and Fertility Control in the Later Years of Childbearing
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Abstract

To tap some of the major forms of anxiety surrounding sterilization decision making, a series of items was constructed to measure possible stresses involved in this consequential and usually irreversible decision. These anxiety items focused on the part played by fecundity in one's sexual identity, the potential for later regrets, and relief from anxiety over possible unwanted pregnancy. The primary analytic sample included 338 couples with completed childbearing, almost evenly divided between those who were sterilized and those who were not. Separate factor analyses for husbands and wives revealed three distinct dimensions of anxiety. These anxiety factors, in turn, were highly predictive of sterilization status and plans.

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