Social Context and Fertility: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Survey Development Fertility preference measurements are critical to assessing the reproductive health needs of individuals and populations and serve as a means to assess the effectiveness of national family planning programs, the achievement of demographic goals, and the degree to which individuals'or couples'fertility intentions are achieved. Despite a long history of research on fertility and fertility intentions, the measurement and predictive validity of fertility intentions remains poor and knowledge about the effects of changing social context on fertility is rudimentary. The proposed K01 Career Development Award supports the development of Dr. Jessica Gipson as an independent social science and public health researcher and integrates two areas for further training and investigation: (a) the independent and potentially synergistic effects of social context domains, and (b) the role of couple relationships and couple interactions on fertility preferences and behavior, for the purpose of broadening the conceptualization and improving the measurement of fertility preferences. This research is relevant to the NICHD mission and stated interest in research relevant to understanding the complex social, economic and cultural factors that impact populations. The goals of the grant are to (1) extend Dr. Gipson's public health and demographically-based training and knowledge related to fertility intentions and behavior to incorporate recent advances in social psychological theory and research on couple dynamics, interaction, and decision-making and how they affect fertility intentions and behavior, (2) engage in didactic instruction on advanced statistical methods (3) conduct new research on fertility and fertility intentions using a unique intergenerational, longitudinal dataset, (4) from the research findings and training in psychological theory and dyadic interactions, develop a new conceptual framework for studying fertility intentions and their relationship to fertility-related behavior, (5) develop a new set of fertility intentions measures intentions measures based on this revised conceptual framework, extant qualitative data analysis, and newly-collected qualitative data, and (6) pilot these measures with a sample of young adult couples in the Philippines. The proposed training and research will be guided by a core group of nationally-recognized research mentors including primary mentor Dr. Anne Pebley, PhD (social demographer), co- mentor Dr. Christine Dunkel- Schetter, PhD (healthy psychologist), and Advisory Committee Members: Dr. Michelle Hindin, PhD (public health/sociology), Dr. Judith Seltzer (family demographer), and Dr. Benjamin Karney (psychologist and relationship science expert). The UCLA California Center for Population Research (CCPR) and the UCLA School of Public Health will provide the infrastructure to support these endeavors. In sum, the structured mentoring program, advanced multi-disciplinary training, and support for original mixed- methods research afforded by this career development award will broaden the understanding of social context and couple dynamics on fertility behavior and facilitate Dr. Gipson's transition to an independent social science and public health investigator.

Public Health Relevance

Fertility preference measurements are critical to assessing the reproductive health needs of individuals and populations and provide a metric to assess the effectiveness of national family planning programs, the achievement of demographic goals, and the degree to which individuals'or couples'intentions are achieved. Despite a long history of research on fertility and fertility intentions, the measurement and predictive validity of fertility intentions remains poor and knowledge about the effects of changing social context on fertility is rudimentary. The proposed research will provide new insight in to the formation, negotiation, and realization of fertility preferences within a dynamic and rapidly urbanizing setting by examining the effects of social context and couple interactions on fertility preferences and behavior. Findings from this research will delineate ways in which reproductive and public health policies and programs can better measure and address the reproductive needs of adult populations in developing countries.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
5K01HD067677-02
Application #
8331933
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
King, Rosalind B
Project Start
2011-09-15
Project End
2016-05-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2013-05-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$126,687
Indirect Cost
$9,384
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
092530369
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
Upadhyay, Ushma D; Gipson, Jessica D; Withers, Mellissa et al. (2014) Women's empowerment and fertility: a review of the literature. Soc Sci Med 115:111-20
Eeckhaut, Mieke C W; Sweeney, Megan M; Gipson, Jessica D (2014) Who is using long-acting reversible contraceptive methods? Findings from nine low-fertility countries. Perspect Sex Reprod Health 46:149-55
Gipson, Jessica D; Hicks, Andrew L; Gultiano, Socorro A (2014) Gendered differences in the predictors of sexual initiation among young adults in Cebu, Philippines. J Adolesc Health 54:599-605