Community Location, Individual Characteristics, and Rural Young Women’s Contraceptive Use

Rachel Shattuck, University of Maryland

This paper uses the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth to investigate the link between U.S. rural young women’s patterns of contraceptive use, their individual characteristics, and the rural location of their communities in a sample of non-pregnant, sexually active 15 to 24-year olds. Prior studies have established that community characteristics influence resident young people’s sexual behavior, but little research has focused specifically on rural locations, despite their high rates of poverty and disadvantage and limited access to health care. My results show that rural location matters for young women’s contraceptive use. The links between contraceptive use and family of origin characteristics, religious observance, and sexual relationship characteristics differ in rural places from those in urban and suburban locations.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health