Who's responsible? Correlates of partner involvement in contraceptive decision making

Womens Health Issues. 2010 Jul-Aug;20(4):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2010.03.006.


Objectives: Researchers have begun looking at joint responsibility for contraceptive decision making as a mechanism to increase effective contraceptive use. This analysis identifies correlates of partner involvement in contraceptive decision making.

Methods: Participants were first-time users of either oral contraceptives or Depo-Provera recruited from 10 family planning clinics in Texas (n = 481). Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire that was available in both English and Spanish. Chi-square statistics were used to compare demographics, relationship characteristics, and condom use before and after initiation of the new hormonal method by who is responsible for birth control use. Characteristics that were significant in bivariate testing were then included in a multivariate logistic regression model.

Results: Forty-five percent of women reported sole responsibility for contraceptive use and 55% reported joint responsibility with their partners. In multivariate models, consistent condom use before and after the initiation of hormonal contraception and duration of sexual activity with main partner for less than 2 years were associated with increased likelihood of joint responsibility for contraceptive decision making. Women whose partners were classified as high risk had reduced the odds of joint responsibility for contraceptive decision making.

Conclusion: Women at increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases (high-risk partners) and their partners may represent a target population for interventions aimed at increasing joint responsibility for contraception use. Continuous engagement in contraceptive decision making among long-term couples should also be encouraged.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology*
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Decision Making*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents