Perceptions of Community-level Violence and Unintended Pregnancy among Urban Women An unintended pregnancy (UP) is a pregnancy that is either mistimed or unwanted at the time of conception and is the result of various risk factors associated with inconsistent contraceptive use. High rates of UP occur among unmarried women, minority or urban women, women with limited education, women living in poverty, women at the youngest spectrum of their reproductive years, and women who have experienced interpersonal violence. This project will examine the role of interpersonal violence and perception of community-level violence on the risk of unintended pregnancy among young, urban women. This proposal will involve the completion of 300 in-person baseline and 9-month follow- up questionnaires among young, urban, non-pregnant, sexually active women seeking care at Temple University-affiliated family planning clinics to: 1) assess the independent role of perceptions of community violence and experiences of interpersonal violence on the risk of UP, and 2) identify the moderating effect of resiliency promotive factors and depressive symptoms on this relationship. These findings may dramatically expand the understanding of the individual characteristics which are involved with why some young, urban women do and other young, urban women do not practice safe sexual behaviors to prevent UP. The data generated from the proposed study will allow an accurate assessment of the direct role of community-level violence on UP, and a quantification of the importance of moderating resiliency factors on the relationship between community violence, interpersonal violence and risk of UP among young, urban women. These findings will vastly expand the research in the area of UP by allowing a complex examination of the role of individual and community violence on the risk of unintended pregnancy among a population-based group of non-pregnant, sexually active urban women. These results will inform interventions to address the culturally and structurally specific factor that may play a role in the risk of unintended pregnancy in an urban setting. We anticipate the translation of this research into action particularly given the proposals focus on identifying modifiable, moderating factors that affect UP risk among young, low-income, urban women.

Public Health Relevance

Assessing resiliency among young, urban women may provide a framework for understanding why a subset of women exposed to violence practice inconsistent contraceptive use and are at high risk for an unintended pregnancy (UP). Using a social ecological approach and building on the resiliency model, the proposed study will enroll 300 young, non-pregnant, sexually active women and collect baseline and 9-month follow-up surveys to identify the direct and modifying role of resiliency on the relation between community/ interpersonal violence and UP.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
Program Officer
Newcomer, Susan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Temple University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
Zip Code