Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Sex role orientation, locus of control, and likelihood of pregnancy among young, unmarried women Public Deposited

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  • Among sexually-active, young women, the motivation to contracept seems to be more of an issue than the technology. This study explored two factors associated with the motivation to contracept; specifically, the relationship of sex role orientation (SRO), and locus of control (LOC), to the contraceptive use patterns of 77 unmarried, undergraduate women. All subjects were sexually-active, 18-20 years old, nevermarried, and full-time students attending a land grant university in the Pacific Northwest. The short form of the Attitude Toward Women Scale (AWS), and the adult form of the Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Control Scale (ANS-IE) were used to measure subjects' SRO and LOC, respectively. The Pregnancy Protection Index (PPI), devised by the author, was used to measure likelihood of pregnancy. In addition to demographic data, data regarding dating behavior, sexual activities, intercourse experience, contraceptive history, and biographical history were obtained. Results revealed subjects with more nontraditional SRO's: 1) used the birth control pill; 2) used a "reliable" contraceptive method (defined as birth control pills, IUD, diaphragm, condom and foam, or condom) at the most recent intercourse; and, 3) engaged in intercourse, significantly more than did less nontraditional women. Though not statistically significant, a positive trend between nontraditional SRO and more frequent contraceptive use emerged. However, there was no significant difference in the PPI scores of women in these groups; or in the percentage who used, or did not use, contraceptives at the first intercourse, or in the last year. Subjects with more internal LOC were found to have a higher frequency of contraceptive use. Though not statistically significant, a trend between internal LOC and a higher PPI score was identified. High internals were more likely to have used some birth control method in the last year than were low internals. No distinction between high and low internals was uncovered regarding frequency of intercourse, types of contraceptive methods used, or use of "reliable" vs. "unreliable" methods. Regression analyses indicated that while LOC accounted for more of the variance in the PPI than did SRO, the combined effect of these two parameters was not significantly associated with a greater likelihood of avoiding pregnancy. Limitations of this study and suggestions for future research were discussed.
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