DOES HAVING HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF THE FUTURE LEAD TO BIRTH CONTROL USE AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE?
Toppe, Christopher M
The importance of developing appropriate strategies to address youth sexual and reproductive behavior cannot be overstated. It is estimated that there are over one billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 worldwide. The high incidence of teenage pregnancy, poor maternal-child health and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases has created a global health crisis. Understanding the motivations behind the use or non-use of contraceptives and developing tools appropriate for youth is critical for the success of any intervention to address this issue. This research focuses on the question of whether having high expectations of aspirations for the future leads to birth control use. The hypothesis is that if young people have positive expectations for their lives in the future will choose to use contraceptives which will have positive implication for their health.To investigate this relationship I used the data from the 1995 Uganda Demographic and Health Surveys in-depth study. I constructed a logistic regression model to establish whether high expectations or aspirations have a relationship with contraceptive use. Due to study limitations the findings focused on female respondents. The results of the analysis do not show a statistically significant relationship between young women's expectations and their use of birth control. This means even those young women with high aspirations with respect to education and employment, often do not use birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy or reduce their chance of STD infection. However the factors that proved to show a relationship were whether they had previously given birth, what their marital status was and whether their mother was literate. This indicates that the factors affecting birth control usage are very complex. These findings should be used to develop more targeted public health programming by government agencies and NGOs. Further research will ultimately improve the health of over one billion young people.
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