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Racial/ethnic disparities in unintended pregnancy, reproductive coercion, and intimate partner violence

Holliday, Charvonne (2014) Racial/ethnic disparities in unintended pregnancy, reproductive coercion, and intimate partner violence. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Unintended pregnancies account for more than half of all pregnancies in the U.S. and are disproportionately more prevalent among racial/ethnic minorities and younger women. Women who experience an unintended pregnancy are more likely to report experiences of reproductive coercion and/or intimate partner violence (IPV). Furthermore, unintended pregnancies are of public health significance due to poor health outcomes for women and children. Low birth weight, lack of prenatal care, and low educational attainment are only a few risk factors associated with unintended pregnancy.

Three studies were conducted to examine racial/ethnic differences and disparities associated with unintended pregnancy, reproductive coercion, and IPV. The data are organized by three specific aims. To address Aim 1, a systematic literature review was conducted to explore racial/ethnic factors that may predict unintended pregnancy and to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework of these findings. The second component (Aim 2) is a quantitative analysis documenting associations between unintended pregnancy, reproductive coercion, and IPV, and differences among racial/ethnic groups. Finally, semi-structured interviews (Aim 3) were analyzed to identify mechanisms associated with unintended pregnancy
in the context of IPV among Non-Hispanic Black (Black) and Non-Hispanic White (White) women.

Results from this dissertation document significant differences in the prevalence of unintended pregnancy, reproductive coercion, and IPV among the racial/ethnic groups. Reproductive coercion and unintended pregnancy were most prevalent among Black and multiracial women. Socio-demographic characteristics, pregnancy intention, partner influence, contraception use, and maternal behavior prior to conception emerged from the systematic literature review as correlates of the association between unintended pregnancy and race/ethnicity. Additional correlates were noted in narratives provided by Black and White women who reported partner abuse.

Unintended pregnancy is a multifaceted public health issue with implications for the well-being of women and their children. This dissertation contributes some novelty to the research field concerning racial/ethnic disparities that surround unintended pregnancy, reproductive coercion, and IPV. However, future research is needed to explore and confirm relationships documented in this study. Public health practitioners should consider interventions that are specific to racial/ethnic populations and that address barriers to pregnancy prevention (i.e. pregnancy attitude, partner pressure, socio-demographics influences).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRicci, Edmund Memricci@pitt.eduEMRICCI
Committee MemberBurke, Jessica Gjburke@pitt.eduJBURKE
Committee MemberDocumét, Patriciapdocumet@pitt.eduPDOCUMET
Committee MemberElizabeth, Millerelizabeth.miller@chp.eduELM114
Date: 29 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 July 2014
Approval Date: 29 September 2014
Submission Date: 17 September 2014
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 217
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: unintended pregnancy, reproductive coercion, intimate partner violence, race, ethnicity, pregnancy
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2014 20:55
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:42


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