The role of social support and parity in contraceptive use in Cambodia

Int Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2010 Sep;36(3):122-31. doi: 10.1363/ipsrh.36.122.10.


Context: In Cambodia, unmet need for contraception is high. Studies suggest that social support and parity each play a role in contraceptive decision making.

Methods: A representative sample of 706 married women aged 15-49 from two rural provinces in Cambodia who wished to delay childbirth were interviewed about their contraceptive use and their perceptions of their husband's, peers' and elders' support of contraception. Multivariate analyses examined associations between support measures and women's current use of modern methods, among all women and by parity.

Results: Overall, 43% of women were currently using a modern method. Women who believed that their husband had a positive attitude toward contraception were more likely than those who did not to use a method (odds ratio, 3.4), whereas women who were nervous about talking with their husband about contraception were less likely than others to use a method (0.6); these associations remained in analyses by parity. Among all women and high-parity women, those whose husband made the final decision about contraception were less likely than other women to use a method (0.6 and 0.4, respectively). Perceiving that most of one's peers practice contraception was strongly associated with method use among low-parity women (4.4). Among all groups, women who agreed that one should not practice contraception if an elder says not to had decreased odds of method use (0.5 each).

Conclusions: To promote contraceptive use, family planning programs should focus on increasing men's approval of contraception, improving partner communication around family planning and bolstering women's confidence in their reproductive decision making.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cambodia
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity*
  • Rural Population
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult