The goal of the proposed research is to improve the health and well-being of American families by detailing the ways in which unintended childbearing affects women's and men's behaviors during and after pregnancy, and the health and well-being of infants and children. Despite a general perception that intentions matter, findings from past studies have demonstrated a weak and often inconsistent relationship of unintended childbearing to negative behaviors and outcomes for women and children. However, over the past decade, awareness of limitations of the conventional measure of unintended pregnancy has led to survey questions that better capture multiple dimensions of intention, such as timing and desire. With new data sources and new and more refined measures of childbearing intentions now available, it is time to reassess the relationship between pregnancy intention, parental behaviors and infant and child health. The work proposed in this project will advance knowledge in this area by addressing shortcomings of prior research with an innovative research design and a comprehensive analytical approach that will illuminate the impact of unintended births on American families.
The aims of this project are:
Aim 1 : Investigate the consequences of intention status on parental behaviors and on infant and child health outcomes using recent advances in the measurement of childbearing intentions in new quantitative data sources. Identify specific dimensions of pregnancy intention, including timing and desire, and test their predictive values in analyses of consequences. Assess the relative explanatory value of the conventional measure of childbearing intention compared to the newer multidimensional measures. Expand the study of the consequences of unintended childbearing to include fathers. Apply and evaluate new statistical techniques - propensity scoring matched sample approaches - to improve controls for shared underlying causes of both unintended childbearing and its consequences.
Aim 2 : Carry out an exploratory qualitative study utilizing in-depth interviews to gain a better understanding of women's and men's attitudes about and experiences with consequences of unintended births.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of the proposed research is to improve the health and well-being of American families by detailing the ways in which unintended childbearing affects women's and men's behaviors during and after pregnancy, and the health and well-being of infants and children. The work of this project will advance knowledge of unintended childbearing by addressing shortcomings of prior research with an innovative research design, using newly available data and statistical techniques, and by developing a comprehensive analytical approach that will illuminate the health and social consequences of unintended births on American families.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD068433-04
Application #
8723868
Study Section
Social Sciences and Population Studies Study Section (SSPS)
Program Officer
King, Rosalind B
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Alan Guttmacher Institute
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10038
Lindberg, Laura; Maddow-Zimet, Isaac; Kost, Kathryn et al. (2015) Pregnancy intentions and maternal and child health: an analysis of longitudinal data in Oklahoma. Matern Child Health J 19:1087-96
Lindberg, Laura Duberstein; Kost, Kathryn (2014) Exploring U.S. men's birth intentions. Matern Child Health J 18:625-33